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12 MARCH 2013

Examples of Chinese ornament selected from objects in the South Kensington museum and other collections

"We have long been familiar with the power of the Chinese to balance colours, but we were not so well acquainted with their power of treating purely ornamental or conventional forms ; and in the chapter in the Grammar of Ornament on Chinese Ornament I was led, from my then knowledge, to express the opinion that the Chinese had not the power of dealing with conventional ornamental form : but it now appears that there has been a period in which a School of Art existed in China of a very important kind. We are led to think that this art must in some way have had a foreign origin; it so nearly resembles in all its principles the art of the Mohammedan races, that we may presume it was derived from them. It would be no difficult task to take a work of ornament of this class, and, by simply varying the colouring and correcting the drawing, convert it into an Indian or Persian composition. There is of course, in all these works, something essentially Chinese in the mode of rendering the idea, but the original idea is evidently Mohammedan. The Moors of the present day decorate their pottery under the same instinct, and follow the same laws as the Chinese obeyed in their beautiful enamelled vases. The Moorish artist takes a rudely–fashioned pot or other object, and by a marvellous instinct divides the surface of the object, 'by spots of colour, into triangles of proportionate area, according to the form and size of the object; these triangles are then crossed by others."

(Owen Jones, 1867)

Owen Jones (1867). "Examples of Chinese Ornament Selected from Objects in the South Kensington Museum and Other Collections: By Owen Jones. One Hundred Plates", S. & T. Gilbert, 4 Copthall Buildings, E.C. Back of the Bank of England.

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TAGS

1867 • ceramic glaze • ceramicsChinesecolourcompositioncultural heritagecultural significance of objectsdecorationdecorative arts • enamel • enamelled vases • flowersformglazeIndianInternet ArchiveIslamicmaterial culture • Mohammedan • Moorish • Moors • motifMuslim • object surface • orientalismornamentalornamental formOwen JonesPeoples Republic of China • Persian • pigmentpotspottery • rudely fashioned • South Kensingtonsymbolic meaning • vase • visual appearancevisual designvisual grammar • visual heritage • visual motifvisual pattern

CONTRIBUTOR

Guannan (cassie) Du
14 JULY 2010

London Underground Victoria Line ceramic tiles

The Victoria Line that opened between 1968 and 1971 "provided the opportunity to produce a new and consistent look across the whole line, from the trains themselves to the stations and platforms. All aspects of design were overseen by Misha Black, the Design Consultant for London Transport (1964–1968), who previously had a similar role with British Rail. He employed the talents of the The Design Research Unit (DRU) – a collective of designers, artists and architects who designed all aspects of the VIctoria Line.

Each platform was designed with a very muted colour scheme, described by some of the press at the time as the 'late lavatorial style' (1, P58). The tiled designs in each seat recess provided much needed colour and decoration, and gave each stop its own visual identity. The results were a mixture of direct inspiration from the station name and references to historical details of the local area."

(Ian Moore, Design Assembly, 3 May 2010)

Fig.1 Stockwell by Abram Games – a semi–abstract swan, representing the nearby pub of the same name.

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TAGS

19681969197120th century • Abram Games • blocks of colourBritish Rail • Brixton • ceramic tileceramicscolourcolour schemecreative practicedecorationdesigndesign historyDesign Research UnitDRUgeometric designshistorical detailhistoryidentitylocalLondon TransportLondon Underground • Misha Black • motif • name • rail • station platform • Stockwell • train stationTube (transport)tube stationUKundergroundunderground line • VIctoria Line • visual communicationvisual depictionvisual designvisual identityvisual motif • Walthamstow Central • Warren Street

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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