Image Credit: Paul Zika, TERMES 5,
“In deep sleep man continues to be influenced by his environment but loses his world; he is a body occupying space.” — Yi-Fu Tuan
Neuroscientists use the language of “pattern recognition” to reference how we sense the world as something more than a smudge on reality, more than a bundle of mere stuff. Patterns, as ordinary and scientific language goes, reference the connections of lines, shapes, and points in space. It’s the “pattern that connects” reminds cybernetics pioneer Gregory Bateson. And so with the emergence of pattern, of order, of rhythmic repetition that we come upon connections of points in space.
Artists and designers have long been avid observers and exponents of rich pattern recognizing moments moving between realism and abstraction with so much mannerist gusto as to force 19th and 20th century art historians to riff on the difference between decoration and ornamentation — the intellectual and political consequences of which now seem quaint and dowdy in the face of globalized pop culture.
Stepping aside culture wars, journeyman Paul Zika as been one of the more active pattern recognizers in the Australian art scene, exploring with eloquence and curiosity, ancient and contemporary patterns that reveal much in the way of memory and spatial pattern recognition.
In the artist’s own words…
In the mid eighties I introduced pattern and ornament into… relief constructions; on one hand, to stress the ‘flatness’ of the surface, but also to counter modernist notions of artifice. Rather than conforming to an idea that ornament was superficial embellishment, it became the subject and content. The viewer was left to contemplate the space within the pattern, sucked in and seduced by elaborate complexity.
Image Credit: Paul Zika, ‘Terme 4’ 2011, acrylic on wood, 132 x 113 x 5cm
Image Credit: Terme 6’ 2011, acrylic on wood, 113 x 175 x 5cm