Using symbols to make patterns

How to draw the lines between meaningful art and misuse of symbols

Symbols are abstract graphics which lends meaning and history for communities, organizations and individuals. Some symbols possess the power to remind people of a horrible past ,a sense of belonging, a motivational movement, an inspiring leader and much more. These graphic forms with attached meaning and connotation can be used by artists and graphics designer for various reasons, but, the question is that what would probably be derogative instead of meaningful or thought provoking art or is it even right to use them to create images?

This discussion started due to an exercise in which such symbols were used to make patterns. Treating a symbol like a motif and using repetition and arrangement to create interesting compositions and then attempting to create meaningful images were the core exercises.

Repetition is a device which could amplify a meaning or even trivialize the symbol. Repetition if the Campbell soup tin or Marilyn Monroe resulted in a great piece of pop-art. These iconic symbols of that time had the power to comment on the current society but did not represent a community or a movement. It’s the inherent value and context of symbols that need to taken care of while creating such pieces of work.

Bharath haridas

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