Knots

Added on by Jacquelyn Gleisner.
[The] simple act of tying a knot is an adventure in unlimited space … an excursion that is limited only by the scope of our own imagery and the length of the rope maker’s coil.
— Clifford Ashley, The Ashley Book of Knots, published 1944 

For the past few weeks, I have been reading about different kinds of knots and making a series of gouache paintings on paper loosely tied to different types of knots. 

In a 2014 article in T Magazine, Jody Rosen discusses the importance of knots throughout history. Still nots are an undervalued craft today, often relegated to the storage rooms of major collections. More here

knot001_web.jpg
 all works are 9 inches square, gouache on paper

all works are 9 inches square, gouache on paper

Knots have been on my mind for a long time, and they've surfaced in various forms in prior drawings and paintings. Since ancient times, knots were an essential form of technology for seafarers, among others. Moreover, knots have served deeply symbolic purposes; they were used to keep records for the Incas, celebrate a birth or marriage in numerous cultures, and summon strong winds for the Laplanders, for example. They are practical, yet deeply mystical at the same time.