Rose Window – Ivory
EXHIBITION:Barry Herem: Spotlight
“Rose window” is the term for the often enormous stone circles of inset glass from Europe’s medieval cathedrals, a theme that has interested me for some time. The overall circle with its inner spiral configuration comes from a small design in the 9th century Irish Book of Kells on display in Dublin.
I have turned this into a kind of formline design, with three images within the large circle. The design on the left represents the past. It is a traditional ovoid, a shape seen in all classic Northwest Coast formline design.
The design on the right is free-form, loose and flowing, and represents the present. Deconstructed, and yet not without the characteristic flow of harmoniously traditional U-forms and S-curves, this work retains the organic lines of classic design yet represents no given creature or crest. It is design for its own sake which nevertheless includes those kinds of shapes which make up the fins, feathers, beaks, talons and relief marks seen in much Northwest Coast-style work.
The design on the top represents the future. It is a human figure bearing with him the essential elements of classic formline design. He is shown in profile with right side arm, knee and foot headed off in new directions with important design elements under arm and attached to his back and backside. He appears to be rushing off into the future of his own making.