Category Archives: pattern



Victoria Park, Bristol, Xmas 2016

[Maya Deren] ‘began to understand practices within her own culture, such as children’s play at hopscotch, in ritual terms in which the stability and unity of the form transcended any particular performance of the ritual’ Rachel O. Moore (2000) Savage Theory: cinema as modern magic. Durham: Duke University Press, p.6.


2016-04-14 11.02.29
Arlanda Airport, April 2016

“Stability and universality are complementary. They seem all the more significant since games are largely dependent upon the cultures in which they are practiced. They affect their preferences, prolong their customs, and reflect their beliefs. In antiquity, hopscotch was a labyrinth in which one pushed a stone–i.e. the soul–toward the exit. With Christianity, the design became elongated and simplified, reproducing the layout of a basilica. The problem in moving the stone became to help the soul attain heaven, paradise, halo, or glory, coinciding with the high altar of the church, and schematically represented on the ground by a series of rectangles”

Roger Caillois (2001 [1958]) Man, Play and Games, p. 82.

apotropaic pattern


‘the practice of inscribing complex and visually puzzling designs upon surfaces in order to protect those sheltered behind them from attack by evil spirits or demons. The idea is that the demons are lured to the surface by their fascination with the pattern, but are so tantalised by it that they cannot bear to pass without first having unravelled it, or solved the puzzle it presents. In this they are bound to get stuck, failing ever to arrive at a solution that would allow them through to the other side’ Tim Ingold (pace Gell), 2007. Lines: a brief history.