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Cv/VAR Archive

Projects 1974-96

Peter Randall-Page Triangulation 1 2007

granite 130 cm high (130 x 170 x 112 cm)

Courtesy of the Artist

 

 

Peter Randall-Page

 

Interview recorded 20th April 2010

at Jubilee Park, Canada Square

 

Cv/VAR One can think of the simple but intricate layering of plants, such as ferns. But you do not just describe these patterns, it is a bit more complex than that.

PRP It is more complex, because when you look around the natural world, at natural phenomena, it is hard to believe there are only a limited number of fundamental patterns. But the other element that comes into play is the equally ubiquitous tendency for random variation to occur. Looking at the underlying principles that determine the apparently limitless forms we see in nature, there seems to be a kind of dynamic tension between the tendency for self-ordering into these patterns and at the same time inevitable random variations. If you think of the process of evolution through natural selection, it requires these two principles: an ordering principle and a tendency for things to go a little bit awry. You never find two oak leaves or stones or faces the same. This has become a very important concept for me, to try and get under the skin of what is going on in nature. Rather than copying nature, to utilise those ordering principles and chaotic tendencies.

 

Your sculptures have different bandings, I noticed wave forms, ripples and diamond cut patterns.

Well I am not interested in stone as such, I am fundamentally interested in what makes human beings tick. I try to set up working situations, designed to create a context in which I can invent, improvise and play. By combining an ordering principle, which in the case of these boulders is the geometric pattern, with a random element, in this case the naturally eroded form of the stone itself, I am able to improvise between these two polarities in the same kind of way that a jazz musician can extemporise on a theme.

 

What happens there is the composer intervenes in their own process.

Yes, and with a group of musicians, like in Bebop, they respond to one another. For me it is more of a conversation between order and chaos.

 

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