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Apple patterns

July 12, 2011

I find textile designs hypnotic. I look at our curtains for hours, trying to figure out where the pattern repeats, where the picture tessellates. The design is very lush, something that a 19th century botanist might have drawn on a trip to the Amazon. Perhaps Goethe recorded it originally – now there was a renaissance man. (The picture above is not of my curtains; instead it is a design for future sheets or tea towels, perhaps a pocket handkerchief.) Textiles are often a reflection of nature, which is organised in a mathematical manner, despite its apparent chaos.

My aunt used to have apple wallpaper in her bathroom. It was very fresh. I had Laura Ashley flowers twisting up my wall as a child. I used to find all sorts of things in the negative spaces – girls carrying sacks, monkeys, teepees. It made me feel like a character in one of my favourite books: Sarah’s Room by Doris Orgel and Maurice Sendak. But I never kept my room as neat as Sarah did.

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