Beyond the pattern with Sigrid Calon

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The power of forms and color.

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Sahara Shrestha | December 8, 2014

A visual artist born in The Netherlands in 1969, Sigrid Calon studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Tilburg with a specialization in textiles. After graduation, she worked as a designer and stylist for some years but when she got tired of the type of work, she got interested in developing herself as more of an “autonomous artist.”

In 2012, Calon published a book of art in stencil print titled Within the grid and beyond the pattern. It features vertically rectangular frames with different combinations of color and form, all abstract but with a rhythm of their own.

“Because of my textile background I was always already interested in patterns and repetition,” Calon said. “I never made the decision of being a pattern-maker, but it is just part of me and my work. In the book I was mainly focused in making compositions. I realize that they look like patterns , but for me they are compositions, because there is a clear frame that is part of the image, so the ‘patterns’ have a beginning and an end.”

As you scroll through images of Calon’s work, enjoy a brief interview with the artist on process and her book Within the grid and beyond the pattern.

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What is the process in making one of your pattern pieces? Are they all done on computer or do you use other materials as well?

The starting point was born out of my fascination for a grid, an embroidery grid to be precise. So think larger than the small embroidery that is normally used and imagine nine dots in a square. In this you can make eight different stitches, and with the computer the stitches become lines. So that was and is my starting point for all the compositions.

I print my work on a stencil machine, because that suits the best with the tactility and intensity of embroidery. The stencil machine (riso) gives me the possibility to work with different colors and to mix them and make new colors out of it.

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How did the book come about?

That was the beginning of the book, the concept. So with that in mind the book turned out to have 120 compositions. The pages of the book are the numbers of each composition, like a title for a work. When the book was finished, I thought it was also interesting to print each page bigger and be a small artwork on its own. So that’s why I made the prints in limited edition of 50 (A3+ size).

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Patterns can be very abstract, but do they mean something special to you?

This book was a search into a new visual language. In there abstraction works very well and can be understood by people all over the world without using words. That’s what fascinates me, the power of forms and color. Maybe that’s the power of abstraction. It’s no illustration, it is not figurative, it’s not an expression of an emotion. It’s on itself. Everyone can have their own associations. I love it when there is something more to communicate with.

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