Over two Thursday evenings we had a lot of fun together on a pattern/ pictogram project. First we looked at examples of old ways of visual communication and language from around the world, from Egyptian hieroglyphics to Chinese Kanji to Pictish symbols from Scotland and Native American symbols, which inspired us to experiment ourselves with new ways to convey natural things using visuals or pictures rather than written words.
The first week we spent the time finding our own drawing patterns for various objects and experiences, such as grass, bark, person, dancing, leaves, clouds, using pens and different papers.
In the second week we continued this to begin the night, making a page for rain, or raindrops, insects, flowers, trees..
Then we laid out a wide roll of cartridge paper, set out some ink colours and brushes, sponges and began pattern – pictogram making. We moved around the piece as it developed, which was very quickly!
Some of the symbols and characters were quite mysterious, and we brought in other styles of shapes to create or deepen something about the meaning. One or two of the group didn’t want to reveal the meanings of their characters which made the process more fascinating to be part of!
As we worked we had a wee look at all our collected single A4 sheets to help guide us, and chatted about how we could bring the piece together, how much white space to keep, and ideas to let the visual symbols interact.
It surprised us just how natural it felt to work and communicate this way, it wasn’t forced or laboured. In a way making the piece transported us into a more ancient type of markmaking seen in cave or rock symbols, freeing and flowing 🙂