Pattern cutting as storytelling

The pattern is the shadow of our persona – a second skin. Patterns hold the memory of the body: not only the posture, but also the history and personal story of each wearer. In Block Party, pattern cutting and its rich references are appropriated by artists as a means to address issues as diverse as climate change, sustainability, values around cultural identity, production and consumption.

Pattern cutting embraces the future

The development of digital technologies, laser cutting, 3D printing and interactive design has opened up a myriad of experimental tools for Block Party artists. Pattern lines can be traced, layered and modified in the virtual space. The pattern block is no longer a flat fixed shape, but becomes an animated organism where complex three-dimensional forms can be programmed to grow and expand over time.

Pattern cutting: motif and manipulation

Anyone who has tried their hand at pattern cutting, or recalls family members or friends doing so, will appreciate the beauty of the paper pattern block. These flat shapes resembling puzzle pieces were traditionally assembled together to create a garment. Block Party artists use them as templates for furniture, ceramics, sculpture. Dress patterns are distorted and reassembled to create sculptural forms, pattern blocks becoming motifs and abstract patterns.