The concept of sacred geometry was born from the study of natural design – the logarithmic spiral of the nautilus. The hexagonal cells of a honeycomb. Those proportional equations have been reapplied in the construction of cathedrals and monuments – the mathematical principles of nature examined and replicated in the modern world.
Designer Ash Thorp has put his focus on sacred geometry for his limited edition print series, ‘The Epoch.’ When taking that perfect equation found in nature and applying it to the digital realm, Thorp highlights the inherent beauty that we sometimes miss in the technology of ones and zeros. When most tech is recognized for the applications they perform, Thorp simply gives us the DNA – the blueprints for how they are built and exist.
In the interview below Thorp shares his thoughts behind the series and its place in his personal canon.
CJ: Sacred geometry has a history of being used in the design of buildings; places of worship and meditation. When taking the equation found in nature and applying it to the digital realm, it highlights the inherent beauty that we sometimes miss seeing in the technology on ones and zeros.
Most tech is recognized for the applications they perform, not for how they are built and exist. Do you imagine these designs to be the beginning of ‘something else,’ like blueprints, or do they exist as examples of balanced design?
AT: Technology is a tool. How you use that tool and what you do with it reflects who you are. The concept of a ‘blueprint’ is interesting to me because as I build these prints I feel like they become themselves — almost as if they are flowing from my mind to the machine in a continuous spiral.
To me, creating these images is a personal journey through my own mind and imagination. I am a bit of an obsessive person and working in controlled chaos and creating worlds of detail that have a certain level of complexity is where I like to roam creatively.
Although sacred geometry is a relatively new subject of exploration for me, I felt instantly connected and drawn to the complexity and beauty of it all. I believe its attraction stems from allowing both my visual and logical mind to find a great meeting point in this creative realm.
Since it has had such a profound effect on me creatively, I felt it was worthy of its own series and ability to help inspire others as well.
With four prints in the series, are they meant to be arranged in any specific order?
I would like to let each collector make that choice on their own. I believe this type of art should be an inviting medium allowing each individual to find their own personal connection to it, and allow them to display it in whatever fashion or arrangement that pleases them.
Does your approach change when doing a project like this, one that is a more personal project without a client in mind?
Yes, it totally does. I approached this project with a completely different mental lens. It’s rewarding and daunting not having a client giving the final say on the work. On one hand, my mind is able to be completely free, on the other, it’s very hard to ‘finish’ something like this as I could honestly just keep working on this endlessly. I really had to sit and think about what I wanted to convey and produce.
This project is important to me and a bit personal as it’s my first real effort into this new arena. It’s vital for me to feel fulfilled by this experience and I kept all of this dialog in my mind while I built the series.
Was the work all done digitally? Any pencil sketches or other explorations before you began on the final pieces?
I usually start each project by clearly visualizing the overall design in my mind, and then I begin to roughly sketch out those ideas, notes, and stream of conscious thoughts.
This sketchbook process helps me get the basic intent out of my mind and into a tangible form. Once the basic concept is sketched out on paper, I can then begin to incorporate the computer to achieve the final desired effect.
Since this kind of art is very mathematical, it seems very fitting to utilize the algorithms of computer software to finish the work.
There’s a visual connection between this series of prints and the visuals you create for Hollywood films like ‘Prometheus’ or ‘Ender’s Game.’ Is there a mental connection for you? Is the digital aesthetic something you can easily relate to?
Sure, I think that is because I only do what I am most interested in and do everything with my purest intention to learn and grow and fully embrace the experience.
Although those projects were for clients and for the public, I try to put my own personal intentions in, and by doing that the work becomes an extension of my artistic ’soul.’
This is a series Thorp has long been conceptualizing and it’s finally ready to release into the world. Here are the details on the prints —
‘The Epoch’ Series
Four 11” x 14” Giclee Prints
Monday April 20th at 10AM PST through May 15th at 4PM PST
Each print is $40 and will available at ashthorp.com. The set of all four prints will be available at a special price of $120 for the first 72 hours.