I met Jonet Harley Peters in a wonderful studio set up as part of a burgeoning arts trail E17 on the far east side of London in June 2015. I fell in love with her use of colour (particularly blue) and her nature photography. She clearly is a keen lover of wild flower forms, like I am. She coupled that sense of the divine in nature with the divine order found in geometry, and the combination is stunning. Here is one of her many examples:
“Can you tell how you came to use nature in combination with geometry?”
I’ve always been drawn to symmetry rhythm and pattern and first started to explore the structure of geometry and proportion through the Golden section in my last year at art school in the 60s. Part of my childhood was spent in East Africa, and the rest on the edge of Dartmoor and these contrasting landscapes fed into my interpretation and love of the natural world. Take Africa for colour, pattern and heat and Dartmoor for mood, mist and water.
So through using pastel and raw pigments to enhance the intensity of colour, and later photographic imagery to show the detail of plant life, I started to work directly with circles as a holistic and universal symbol in the 90s and found that simple geometry gave me a solid structure on which to base my exploration of colour. A visit to India at this time was highly influential and as a result I added the triangle to my set of shapes I also discovered the story of Indra’s net which demonstrates a holographic view of consciousness:
“In the heaven of Indra there is said to be a network of pearls so arranged that if you look at one you see all the others reflected in it’
Pattern is the fundamental building block of the material world and it seemed a really good basic structure on which to develop my ideas using a variety of materials. I also started using repetition of shape and image and am continuing to explore all these areas
“What do you want to convey in your pictures?”
I regard my work as a form of exploration and the finished piece as a sort of map – a trace of the journey that I’ve been on – a new path. And if the work is successful in my eyes I hope it conveys and communicates to the viewer an aspect of the feeling, the mood I was seeking. But what is more exciting is when the viewers reading touches on areas that I hadn’t considered. If it’s possible to read and recognise some trace of the sense and feeling-based process that goes into the making, then hopefully the picture works.
“Since the beginning when you used geometric patterns how have you developed your art ? I notice for instance you were applying the patterns to other media”
My interest in exploring other media has pushed me into make photographic collage, cards, inkjet prints and have photographic images printed onto ceramic tiles. This is another way of getting the work out into the world.
“Do you think you will ever tire of using geometry?”
Probably not ! Geometry is the foundation that gives me a solid structure upon which I can explore and develop my ideas on the relationship between colour, texture, suface, and depth. It’s the alphabet of my language and provides a safety net that allows me to step into the dark and experiment with a wide variety of materials.
Thank you Jonet- to me you clearly have a gift and a grace to what you are doing. I wish you many more years of happy creativity.