Maura Biava approaches her exhibition Nature * Patterns in a collaborative, sustainable and inclusive way, inviting Anne Geene, Emily Joyce and Saskia Van Drimmelen to elaborate with her on the theme of patterns, exploring and depicting nature, and its relation to mathematics and symmetry. This show revolves around the ideas of information and hidden geometries behind what we see in nature at first glance. According to Biava, this shift of attention from admiration to investigation will enable us to understand why things are formed and developed as they are. The antiquated position of a human being as a neutral observer, or at best an appreciator of nature, has run its course. Because we believed in this old-fashioned point of view, we became detached from the natural systems that we now know we are part of.
In the natural world, pattern structures are central to morphogenesis — the biological process causing cells and organisms to develop their shape. Together with symmetry and repetition, patterns often form order in nature. For many scientists, the capacity of humans to recognise patterns is considered a crux of our intellect and at the core of our ability to communicate, imagine, empathise, and invent. “Pattern,” wrote Charles DiJulio from the Criss-Cross art movement, “is the diametric opposite of the hierarchic.” In contrast with hierarchic systems, a pattern is cooperative, democratic, inclusive, and has no center. For Nature * Patterns, Biava invited the aforementioned artists to elaborate on patterns while relating to nature and each other’s work.
Maura Biava — an Italian, Amsterdam-based artist — is intrigued by how the regular forms of the organic world originate according to specific mathematic rules. In her artistic practice, Biava aims to create works that follow the same principles. “The interaction between information, matter, and energy informs and shapes what we see, it forms our reality,” says Maura Biava. To show this interaction in her work, she uses clay as matter, mathematics and numbers as information, and her actions and hands at work as energy. The Dutch artist Anne Geene works with organic material and records visual similarities and phenomena in the natural world. The interrelation of coincidence and patterns is celebrated in her work. Emily Joyce, a California-based artist, investigates nature, the urban world, and art history through pattern-based rhythmic abstraction. In her paintings, she uses interlocking geometric compositions to communicate on a level that is realistic, logical, fantastic, and humorous at the same time.
Maura Biava has also collaborated with fashion designer and activist Saskia Van Drimmelen. Working with Bulgarian women, she learned how traditional patterns and colours in garments derive from nature. In her work, Van Drimmelen uses almost vanishing crafts in contemporary fashion. In Nature * Patterns the artworks borrow the complexity of the language that nature uses to take its form and suggest the integral systems that our very existence is based upon.