Pattern, Colour & Form: new approaches to creativity || Carolyn Genders

This is interesting. Best not to read the jacket blurb, which gets a bit precious and which has as hard a job as I do trying to explain what the book is all about. I think, reduced down to a nutshell, that it’s a look at the way creative people interpret their subject matter. Carolyn Genders looks at everything from painting and photography to jewellery, textiles and glass-making and does actually manage to come up with a coherent analysis of how the same (or at least similar) starting points both inspire and are interpreted.

The end result is a visually-based analysis of the creative process that has you getting further and further into the book rather than being put off by a load of wild theorising. The secret is the huge number of illustrations, the variety of material and the number of different practitioners included. Carolyn doesn’t ask you to believe that all these people create in different ways from a common starting point, she shows you, allows you to make up your own mind and decide for yourself what works and what doesn’t.

It’s rare, indeed almost unheard of, to have not just so many different approaches and techniques, but so many different art forms in one book and it could so easily not work, but we have here an author with a coherent thesis that she presents well.

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