Plate 55

(22) Deb K Williams – Knots and Constellations


(1169) Paula del Rivero – FINE ENSIGNS


About this Artwork

‘Knots and Constellations’ is a work born out of a process of distillation. My page ‘Some Ensigns of Britain and the Commonwealth’ has been reduced to a single image containing traditional symbols of the sea and sky combined with the practical universality of sailors knots. While the overall sense of navigation remains, the militaristic overtones and the grid layout of the original page have been removed. The image now floats in space much like a vessel on the sea.

The flags featured in ‘Some Ensigns of Britain and the Commonwealth’ have obvious military associations and the notions of ‘The Commonwealth’ suggest British domination and centuries of imperialism. I wished to explore themes of the universality of ancient sea faring where navigation is gleaned from understanding the map of sky and the sail is tethered by an array of knots and the vessel, when necessary, is tethered to the sea bed by an anchor.

About Deb

I have a multi-discipline art practice that includes installation, drawing, collage and digital photography. My work includes drawings, photographs, diagrams and templates and collections of three-dimensional ‘samples’ and small hand crafted proto-types. My installation work is characterised by the desire to experiment with materials and processes, to use assemblage and collage to create unexpected connections and to use materials that are often mundane, discarded or redundant. I draw upon textile, casting and modelling traditions and incorporate processes such as stitching, incising, puncturing, tessellating, rug making, wrapping, knotting and weaving. Materials include an assortment of papers, felt, cassette and VHS tape, oil, plasticine, salt, sand, threads, cement, rope and mud. Most recently I have created textile works exploring the connection between stitching, weaving and drawing and the contemplative, meditative nature of these activities. This Door to Door project has given me the opportunity to challenge myself to make work from a page that initially didn’t offer me much inspiration!

Link to Deb’s Art Aviso profile HERE

Deb was provided with the following page from Newnes’ Pictorial Knowledge Encyclopedia:

Volume 3
The story of the world and it’s peoples.
Some Ensigns of Britain and the Commonwealth.

About this Artwork

“FINE ENSIGNS” is an interpretation of the “Newnes’ Pictorial Knowledge 1950’s Encyclopedia Volume 3, The story of the world and its peoples , Some Ensigns of Britain and the Commonwealth” through the lens of Paula del Rivero’s current body of work.

In this occasion the reinterpreted piece presents all the ensigns as if the flags had been unthreaded fiber by fiber in a process where the original form has been left behind in favor of a new, more representative one.

Just like textiles are recycled and up-cycled into new fabrics, Paula del Rivero’s intention was to offer a new symbology for a post-pandemic era.

Through this piece a new emblem was created by drawing from its past through a transformative alteration that would mimic the profoundly transformative process we’ve all experienced during and after this unsettled phase.

Via this reinterpretation process, the fibers remain but are clearly exposed, creating a new code where colors and composition have been deconstructed and rearranged to reflect a new reality, a new world, a new order.

The reference to textiles, present in the very nature of the originating page, is also a reference to Paula del Rivero’s trajectory, throughout which textiles have been and are still very present.

About Paula

Born from an intimate emotional experience in the face of the global events during the COVID-19 pandemic, when reality as we knew it was completely shattered and with it, our notion of time and space, my current line of work “FINE” offers an exploration of the physical and temporary limits we all experienced to a greater or lesser extent during the different phases and types of confinement which took place everywhere around the globe.

Presenting questions around how these limits are defined, managed, and revisited by – and through – our circumstances, but also by and through our human comprehension and societal constructs, this visual research is a response to universal questions that revolve around our relationship to the concept of infinity, whether spatial or temporary.

In that sense, and throughout my practice, my work is always the result of an effort to comprehend the deeper meaning of our human existence, that which lies beyond the limits of mental comprehension, that which transcends the illusions of apparently chaotic and random manifestations of Life.

Link to Paula’s Art Aviso profile HERE

Paula was provided with the following page from Newnes’ Pictorial Knowledge Encyclopedia:

Volume 3
The story of the world and it’s peoples.
Some Ensigns of Britain and the Commonwealth.