Keith Albarn – Pattern and Belief

Pattern and Belief is the title of an exhibition by Keith Albarn shown at The Minories Galleries, Colchester from the 18 May to the 13 July, 2013.

For over forty years Keith Albarn has been researching number systems and patterns, and their relationship to belief systems and creativity. Taking a simple number game

as a starting point he has developed an infinite number of new patterns that connect across various dimensions allowing endless possibilities for outcomes. Some of these

possibilities were displayed at The Minories through a patterned environment, prints, sculptural forms, artist’s games and sound-works. As part of the exhibition a library

and collection of material that demonstrated how we pattern in order to understand and the connection between our patterning systems and those found in nature further

explained this area of research.

 Keith Albarn was principle lecturer in Fine Art at the now University of East London, and more recently, Head of Colchester Institute’s School of Art, Design and Media.

Publications include numerous articles and papers for art, education and science journals, and broadcasts on radio and television. In the 1960’s he helped form

26 Kingly Street W1, an ‘ideas factory’ and a ‘happening place’, was the subject of BBC’s ‘One Man’s Week’, a contributor to ‘Tomorrows World’ and ‘Late Night Line-Up’,

briefly manager of ‘Soft Machine’, and developed ‘Ekistikit’, a modular architectural system that was used to build ‘Fun Palaces’ and furniture kits from the 1970’s onwards.

 Keith has been researching pattern since the 1970’s when he led the research, design and manufacture of the exhibition for the first ‘World of Islam’ festival at the ICA in 1974,

reworked as ‘Islamathematica’ for the Museum Vorlandenkunde, Rotterdam in 1975. He also designed the exhibition ‘Illusion in Art and Science’ that was shown at the

ICA in 1976 and in New York in 1977 and which led to the book ‘Illusion in Nature and Art’ by R L Gregory and G H Gombrich. He was co-author of the books

‘Language of Pattern’ for Thames and Hudson in 1974 and ‘Diagram – the Instrument of Thought’ also for Thames and Hudson in 1977, and contributed to

‘Teaching Art and Mathematics’, Stanley Unwin, 1991.

 Keith’s research expands on Beau Lotto, a populariser of the psychology of perception and connects to work by Semir Zeki, a leading light in neuroaesthetics.

Keith’s work complements and expands the current work on visual perception that uses MRI machines but without recourse to the laboratory technology. His work is

inter-disciplinary, connecting neuropsychology, mathematics, natural sciences and cultural anthropology. He is looking at pattern as a psychological phenomenon,

in perception and in cognition, with its own neural correlates and its own physiology; as a universal cultural phenomena appearing from prehistory to the present day,

giving form to belief. The study raises questions regarding the danger and delights of pattern and its part in the nature and value of belief itself.


About This Site

This site was created for the Exhibition, Pattern and Belief launched at the Minories Galleries, Colchester on May 17th 2013 with the intention that it live on, as a live site, to receive further material.

It was “engineered” for Keith Albarn, the author of most of the collection of images and texts arising from some 40 years of exploration and “gaming” in the many interconnected fields of pattern and belief.

We trust playing on site will enable further interconnectedness!

The “engineering” of this site and of, its predecessor, was carried out by friend and colleague, James T. Birdsell MA[RCA], a contribution gratefully received!

Keith Albarn