Stella W.

When I read the essay through the first time and the assignment, expanding squares, I immediately thought of ‘Metamorphosis’, a print by MC Escher. I posted the fact on the CST alumni Facebook page. My mind also wandered into the possibility of creating repeat patterns or tessellations by placing several cut squares next to each other. I got to work trying out ideas with squares of coloured paper I had left over from some previous project.

I cut out wavy random shapes from two sides of a yellow square and stuck them on the opposing edges. I could make a repeat pattern using this idea, I thought, a bit like a jigsaw puzzle. I used a ball point pen to draw a mirror image of each cut edge onto the square because what’s the point of tessellating a small yellow square in order to create a large yellow square? Now, if the square was printed side by side it would look like a sort of repeat oak-leaf pattern.

I cut wavy shapes out of each of the side of a blue square and stuck down the cut pieces in the way I think the assignment had intended. I wonder just how large a shape one could get from repeatedly cutting and Pasting using just one square?

I cut off the corners of the white square, inverted them and stuck them back. I drew black triangles onto the square to mirror the shape of the cut corners. If I had the time and inclination I might have cut these triangles out and stuck them in a line above the cut corners but they look OK as they are.

I cut the red square in half and half again diagonally to make four triangles. I stuck two down to make a butterfly shape and cut the other two in half again. I made a smaller butterfly. I repeated this until the butterfly's got too small to manipulate. By the time I came to photograph the result, one of the smallest butterflies had lost a wing.

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When I read Jane’s later posting I got the impression that some people didn’t appreciate this assignment and I realised that I had completely missed the purpose of the task which wasn’t about expanding squares at all but rather harnessing my internal rebel. I think I may have achieved this by accident in not sticking to the rules laid down in the prescribed brief but I’m not quite sure how this helps my creative strength.