Stage 2 is around development – identifying interesting aspects of my source material, inserting some of my own ideas.
I started, as suggested, with a brainstorm and mind map. The little sketches and changes of colour are part of trying to put myself off balance, to move away from words a bit.
Three potential themes particularly attract me.
Most of the Aztec gods had both male and female forms. The bones of death were the seeds of life. There was light and dark, order and chaos, dry and wet, active and passive… They divide, complement, complete. They are parts of the same process, a cycle. I think it’s more complex than black and white – there is ambiguity.
Experimentation in my sketchbook was based on a mask held at the British Museum. Creating one mask left remnants that suggested another – the complement. More detail is on the research page (click here).
A number of the codices follow the journey of the Aztec people, including the Codex Azcatitlan.
I love the symbolic elements, the presentation of movement in space and time, in the case of the Codex Azcatitlan that there is already a kind of cultural fusion in the sporadic use of western conventions such as aerial perspective. I’ve found myself thinking about what journey I could present, of formats such as a bound book or a long concertina fold (elements of connections through space, folding of time and place???).
During Stage 1 I didn’t have time to write about Federico Navarrete’s 2004 paper The hidden codes of the Codex Azcatitlan, but that’s relevant. I’ve tripped over some other sources of ideas recently too:
, which could be seen as a journey through the class structure of Britain – an overview, or an individual’s path
I especially like the footprints, and I know I’ve got some photographs stashed of tracks and footprints in different places.
This is more a grab-bag of ideas.
I haven’t included any idea based on the bright colours and jazzy lines that I associate with “aztec” design. I just haven’t found them in my source material, or only in limited and muted ways which seem common to many other cultures as well. Even so, I think my next step will be to explore the fabric stash, grabbing out anything which catches my eye as having potential.
Codex Azcatítlan (1501 – 1600) [online] Available from http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b84582686.r=Codex+Azcat%C3%ADtlan.langEN (Accessed 19-Nov-2014)
Codex Mendoza (1541 – 1542 ?) [online] Available from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Codex_Mendoza
Maffie, J. ([n.d.]) Aztec Philosophy Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy [online] Available from http://www.iep.utm.edu/aztec/ (Accessed 6-Dec-2014)
Medina, M. (2014) “The Aztecs of Mexico: a zero waste society” In Our World web magazine United Nations University [online] Available from http://ourworld.unu.edu/en/the-aztecs-of-mexico-a-zero-waste-society (Accessed 6-Nov-2014)
Navarrete, F. (2004) “The hidden codes of the Codex Azcatitlan” In Anthropology and Aesthetics, No. 45 (Spring, 2004)[online] Available from http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/aztecs/Codex-Azcatitlan.pdf (Accessed 15-11-2014)
Thittichai, K. (2009) Experimental textiles London: Batsford
T1-E1:P1-p1-s2 Developing source material – themes
Textiles 1 – Exploring Ideas
Part 1: Cultural fusions
Project 1: Interpreting cultural sources
Stage 2: Developing your source material
Developing source material – themes