Michael Divine

On Sacred Geometry

There is no such thing as Sacred Geometry. There are, perhaps, more and less pleasing ratios. There are forms that repeat through space because they are the paths of least resistance for the elements that build on those forms. The “golden mean” or Fibonacci spiral is one of the most common, I think.

Such ratios form aesthetically pleasing ways of creating compositions. Breaking visual spaces into thirds or fifths can accomplish something that breaking them into twos cannot.

Geometry – the branch of mathematics concerned with the properties and relations of points, lines, surfaces, and solids (thanks Oxford English Dictionary) – is simply a way that we construct our 3 dimensional models of the world. It breaks down as we move away from the 3d, when we try to include things like time or, perhaps as in art, emotion, sensation, and so on.

One can train oneself in all of the numerical components and supposed mystical implications yet still miss the elegant arc of a bird in flight or the graceful uncurling petals of a flower in bloom. There are the tragic curves of forgotten people under a highway overpass and the imposing force of nature that is a cyclone.

One doesn’t arrive at the expression of these things by poring over numbers and rulers. Michelangelo is quoted as saying something along the lines of “trust the eye not the ruler.”

Trust the creative impulse and not your desire to map it onto a numerical sequence. Train yourself to the rhythms of the music of the spheres rather than a guidebook that tells you that this numerical sequence that makes this shape is such and such’s holy relic cube while this other numerical sequence that makes this shape belongs to someone else which, in a different culture, is a different thing. All the way down the line.

These are stories. Imaginary layers on frozen in time moments where the supposed perfect form can be found. Chase that perfect form and you miss all the beauty that is the glorious imperfection of our interdependent world. To truly put emotion into your work, to capture its movement through time and paint it’s song in space, is to forget all of those tedious stories because you are no different than the waters and the rocks, shaped by the winds and rains – the traumas and pains – and the wide open peaks.

We are, each of us, those rhythms the mystics whisper of. It is a magical thing: life. I hope for my art to be a reminder of that dance – that raw and beautiful thing that is to be human outside of our stories about it and the conditions we place upon it, celebrating that glorious imperfection of our interdependent world.

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