Design and Form: The Basic Course at the Bauhaus by Johannes Itten
Thames and Hudson
Recommended Read 'Design and Form: The Basic Course at the Bauhaus' by Johannes Itten (1888 - 1967), published by Thames and Hudson. A very interesting book into some of the basic theories of colour, tone and shape that were taught at the highly influential Bauhaus school, in the earlier part of the century. Most of the book comprises of images of artwork from artists of the time.
Johannes Itten was a Swiss artist, writer, teacher and theorist and was part of the Expressionistic movement. He was Mazdaznan, a strict vegetarian and meditated to develop inner understanding and intuition.
Originally he trained as a school teacher incorporating new theories of teaching, notably including the practice of not correcting his students' creative work individually, so as not to crush their creative impulse. He chose certain common mistakes to teach the whole class.
From the influence of Hölzel, Itten chose a series of basic shapes (the line, the plane, the circle, the spiral) as a means from which to begin creation. His students did gymnastic exercises before class to relax! Later music and other relaxation techniques.
Itten had a HUGE influence on the use of colour in modern art and even the cosmetics industry. He taught the preliminary course at the innovative Bauhaus from 1919 to 1922 - the basics of material characteristics, composition, and colour. He theorised 7 types of colour contrast. These were hue, value, temperature, complements, simultaneous contrast (Chevreuil), contrast by saturation, contrast by extension.
Crop Circles: History, Research And Theories by Eva-Marie Brekkesto
Sacred Geometry: Symbolism and Purpose in Religious Structures by Nigel Pennick
Recommended Read 'Sacred Geometry' by Nigel Campbell Pennick, currently published by Abe Books, is a classic starter to scared geometry. Indeed it was the first book I bought on sacred geometry! It is only a short book with some basic sacred geometry and light on examples. A nice quick read.
Nigel is a marine biologist, who writes about a variety of topics - over 50 books and papers on occultism, magic, natural magic, divination, subterranea, rural folk customs, traditional performance, Celtic art, runosophy, European arts and crafts, buildings, landscape, customs, games and spiritual traditions. But Nigel is most known for his knowledge of sacred geometry, geomancy, labyrinths, spiritual arts and crafts, esoteric alphabets and Germanic runic studies. He is also an artist, notably of Celtic artwork and creating labyrinths.
Decoding Design by Maggie Macnab
How Design Books
DESIGN OBSERVER - Maggie Macnab founded Macnab Design in 1981 and received highest honors from the American Advertising Federation ADDY for logo design in 1983. She has continued to receive national and international recognition for creating design that focuses on meaning, beauty and usefulness. Her unique approach integrates symbolic information into design to create effective and accessible visual communications that translate into any language and any culture.
Oxfordshire Artweeks celebrated its 40th year in 2022 and the turnout to all the art exhibitions in May was incredible! Thank you to everyone that came to The Spice of Life, behind the Spice Lounge restaurant in Summertown.
It was wonderful to be able to exhibit 'Porthole', 'Sun Light Codes' and 'Sacred Geometry Bots' from my Spring Collection - Circular exploring the sacred geometry of the circle and colour symbolism, as well as some older favourites.
Recommended Reading this week are the beautifully illustrated titles by the Wooden Books imprint, of which there are currently over 60. They publish a wide range of short taster books on sacred geometry topics and related subjects. Plus the beefier 'Quadruvium' and 'Sciencia' pictured here. Wooden Books specialises in 'age-old' topics. It won Best Non-Fiction Series at the 2007 New York Book Fair. It's series of titles continues to grow.
Most of the books are written by John Martineau, founder of Wooden Books. His MA project focussed on geometry and harmony in the solar systems. It was then the basis of his 'Book of Coincidence'.
Watkins Publishing Ltd
Recommended Read this week is 'Celestial Geometry: Understanding the Meanings of Astronomical Sites' by Ken Taylor, Watkins Publishing Ltd, 2019. Ken Taylor's extensive research explores over 60 archeological sites, some well known and others less so. Each site 'enshrines remarkable achievements' of ancient astronomers around the world. A fascinating book linking the Earth to the Heavens using mathematics and sacred geometry. There is the occasional mention of the various sites' uses, rites and ceremonies. More detailed specifics about the sites, such as materials used, is not really covered. Nevertheless the book is excellent!
He has written 6 books and has co-authored a further 6 in partnership with his wife Joules. Titles include:
Early Heaven Oracle (Rider,2002 )
Tarot for Today (London House, 2000)
Werewolves (2009) and Ghosts ( 2010) for Spruce.
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Thames and Hudson
Francs Huxley (1923 - 2016) was an anthropologist and botanist with diverse interests and a lifelong interest in shamanism and the altered states of consciousness often experienced by sacred 'healers'. In the 1950's his pioneering fieldwork among the Urubu people of the Amazon basin and his book 'Affable Savages' (1956) resulted in new personal reflective approach to the study of culture, rather than objective. He was also an activist for indigenous peoples, founding Survival International with fellow anthropologists. Survival International provides a platform for exposing genocide, violence, slavery and exploitation.
Works of interest
The Invisibles: Voodoo Gods in Haiti (1969), he describes his encounter with possession, magic and psychic healing.
The Way of the Sacred (1974) he expands this personal perspective on healing to include the study of myths, religious rites and sacred symbolism.
With his fellow anthropologist, Jeremy Narby, he co-edited Shamans Through Time (2001), a collection of five centuries of writing on the subject.
Tribes of the Amazon Basin in Brazil (1973), identified groups threatened by Brazilian economic expansion and described the sad impact on their religious, spiritual and psychological health and wellbeing.
Another book that is a readable and informative introduction to sacred geometry. Schnieder focuses on the drawing/construction of the geometric principles created by 0, 1 to 10, sequentially. He includes relevant quotes, examples in nature, the human body, myths, art and architecture. Plenty of interesting material about each of the numbers but he does not draw any conclusions.
Calling himself 'an educator and writer who encourages a love of learning' on his website Schnieder provides numerous workbooks and CDs about 'the intersections of mathematics, nature, art, science and culture'.
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Recommended Read this week is Malcolm Stewart's (1939-) 'Patterns of Eternity - Sacred Geometry and the Starcut Diagram', published by Floris Books.
This is a classic sacred geometry text, well researched, insightful, covers a lot of ground, includes plenty of examples from many cultures. If you are serious about understanding the mathematics of sacred geometry then this needs to be in your library.
Stewart proposes that the Starcut Diagram has very interesting mathematical properties and that it could possibly be the source of the ancient number system used to build ancient sites.
Malcolm Stewart's varied career includes - priest, singer-songwriter, editor and book jacket designer, UN project co-ordinator, NGO relief-aid and refugee organiser, freelance artist and stained glass designer, lecturer and author.
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Sharing my passion for archetypal symbolism, especially sacred geometry, in nature, the Arts, sciences, philosophy and society.
Books On Geometry
Geometry In Nature
Geometry In Sound
Mind Body Spirit Events
Spirituality In Art
The Gateway Series
Watkins Publishing Ltd