Carpet Pages III: Pixels 26 Oct – 25 Nov 2020 Opening 1 – 29.10.20, 6-9pm GMT Free tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/…/12571666…/preview_publish Show: https://www.carpetpages.com My knots: I initially thought that the material I’m using, nylon cord rattail, was pronounced ‘rattye’, the ‘tye’ rhyming with ‘tyre’, as if it were a French word, ‘c’est le rattail, non?’. It’s not! It’s actually pronounced as rat-tail, the tail of a rat, as in English – and the only reason I twigged this at last was during the process of actual knotting and touching the cord lots… hmmm…it really feels smooth and ever so slightly glistening ‘wet’, almost like a mouse or rat’s tail….ohhhhhh! Da-da!
Knot notes I Ching trigrams (Yi Jing) commentary by Zhou Yi – oldest Chinese classical text – “in prehistoric times, events were recorded by tying knots; in later ages, books were used for this.” Han scholar Zhen Suen (2nd century CE) said in his book Yi Zu: “Big events were recorded with complicated knots, and small events, simple knots”. In Peru also: Qui Pu system of knots where 10 = single knot, 20 = double knot and 100 = multiple knots Prehistoric knots. Around 100CE the Shuowen Jiezi defines ‘knot’ as the joining of two cords. Chinese knotting almost died out forever but was luckily rescued in the 70s by a handful of people; now it’s a flourishing craft again
Knots all knotted up like a knot nest ready for framing for Carpet Pages III: Pixels
26 Oct – 25 Nov 2020
Double Coin knot = Western Han Period (206 BCE-CE) Flat knot; Button knot = Han Dynasty (206 BCE-CE 220) Good luck knot or Tassel knot = Northern Zhou Period (CE 557-588) Buddha knot or Virtue knot = Sui Dynasty (581-618) Cross knot; Double Connection knot; Round Brocade knot = Tang Dynasty (618-906) Cloverleaf or Flower knot = Song Dynasty (960-1279) Pan Chang knot = Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) Plafond (ceiling) knot = Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) And some modern knots
There are likely more; these are the main ‘famous’ ones included in this piece.
Love to know the other names of these knots from different cultures – please share if you know the names? Or if you know any sailors? Or if you are a sailor? 😉
The 104 days of lockdown is also a journey through the history and geography of knots and knotting. I’ve included knots from the earliest Chinese dynasties, knots from the Islamic world and Celtic knots – there are quite a few overlaps as different cultures call the same knots by other names, eg a Celtic square knot was also called a Hercules knot by ancient Egyptians and Greeks. Or the Chinese double coin = western Josephine = also macramé knot = sailors know it as the ‘Carrick bend’. ‘Josephine’ comes from Napoleon Bonaparte’s empress but the ancient Celts knew about it long before.
On knots, poet Meng Jiao (Tang Dynasty) wrote: One knot after another Knotting true and deep love Upon my love’s departure I make a thousand knots on his sleeve I swear to wait faithfully Hope these knots will prompt him to come home early But what’s the use of tying knots on his garment? It is better to knot our hearts together We knot our hearts in whatever we do We knot our hearts for eternity
中 zhong middle 🀄️Chinese character Doing my favourite button knots for my own art, for my forthcoming Carpet Pages III: Pixels show, sharing it with kid. Threading practice ‘through’ the ‘middle’ or centre of the knot made it look like 中 .