Thursday, November 10, 2011


Repetition.  You think it's everywhere,  but when you really are looking for interesting ways to portray it, it's quite a challenge to find.  This Monday, the students in our photo class will learn about repetition in art and how it can emphasize a subject and create interest.  

I was looking for repetition in nature, which does happen in lots of lovely ways, but most of these are subtle, and not so garish as to stand out in the soldierly manner I was seeking.  It seems that man likes to try to create order in his environment through repetition, so there is much of it here.  We even find beauty in lining things up.  Have you ever absentmindedly lined up chocolate chips or something similar while you were on the telephone?  Have you watched your child make a road of books down the hall?  

There is something very human about repetition.  It makes things predictable.  How would we find the correct letters if the keyboard had various sizes of keys?  I think we'd be a little freaked if the baby gate had random sizing in the holes of its mesh.  The harmony of a perfectly woven basket or chair makes us want to relax.  The endless succession of cars on a train say industry and efficiency.  

After a while, most man made repetition seems to look like glorified versions of the building blocks and legos we played with as children.  We must have things simple, straightforward: stacked.  The unfathomably organized chaos that is nature intimidates us, yet we emulate it with these blocks we make of life.  They help us to create beauty in our own way.  They are our individual interpretations of the wonder that surrounds us.  

My eyes will now be more aware of repetition in the manmade world around me, but what I am really thrilled to find are the subtle ways God has used repetition in His designs.  Then, what will be really wonderful is to find a way to interpret that through the creation of a photograph.  It will be a challenge.  I know I will find it in the way a sunflower's seeds are arranged, the way leaves are arranged around a stem and branches upon a tree.  There are the many hexagons of the honey comb and the stars in the sky.  There is a certain harmony, balance and familiarity about the repeating designs that God has made that make them mysterious and fascinating when we begin to notice.  What do you think you'll find as you look?  


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