Day 156 Feb 3 2016 Old Bar 5:30pm
A glyph or pictogram is a symbol that represents a concept, object, activity or place…..they were used by many ancient cultures all over the world since around 9000 BC. Around about 5000 BC these symbols developed into logograms and formed writing systems, where the symbol represents a word.
I have always been fascinated by glyphs; like patterns and number systems I see them everywhere……they form a visual language that need not be spoken.
The glyphs I have created are from the seed head of the Agapantha flower and for me they represent the idea of unity or group consciousness as directed by my observation of the essence or message of the flower.
As each individual lily dies on the starburst cluster of the flower head, it remains on its single flower stalk, gradually transforming into a seed head, while another swelling bud opens to take its place. Eventually this bud wastes away like its predecessor.
For weeks, one Agapantha starburst will appear to be perpetually in bloom as single blue blowers continually open while their predecessors wither and wait patiently to seed, holding the pattern of the starburst and the colour of the flower in spite of the withering.
Eventually all that is left of the starburst is a green spherical flower head, rattling with seed-heads.
For me this flower represents the beauty of unity and connectedness…….each lily is exquisitely formed individually as it radiates outward from the centre of its source, but the true magnificence of the flower lies in the whole, the unity of the group.
The glyph I was inspired to create from the Agapantha seed head also reminded me of Chinese characters which form a square shape, so I would like to share the story of the creation of the Chinese characters and how they were created through the observation of the natural world.
According to legend, Chinese characters were invented by Cangjie (c. 2650 BC), a bureaucrat under the legendary emperor, Huangdi. The legend tells that Cangjie was hunting on Mount Yangxu (today Shanxi) when he saw a tortoise whose veins caught his curiosity. Inspired by the possibility of a logical relation of those veins, he studied the animals of the world, the landscape of the earth, and the stars in the sky, and invented a symbolic system called zi, Chinese characters.