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Pathways, Signs and Symbols - Essay Example

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The origin of symbols is still unknown but it is well connected with the tribes and small communities of the past. “Ndebele Tribe,” as they are mainly known for their decorative symbols, beadwork, crafts and paintings, that “hails from South Africa and is divided into four different groups of which two, Ndzunda and Manala live in Pretoria and Mpumalanga area of South Africa” (Lalioti 1) They are known for their colorful geometric symbols and designs and their distinctive use of colors and striking designs has made them popular around the world. The wall paintings by Ndebele portray “triangular and v-shaped designs” with distinct color (Lalioti 1). As the tribe started getting more exposure to urban style they started using synthetic paints and also including city scenes on their paintings. Ndebele symbols and art form do not contain any mystical content. Their women are very creative and use “their fingers to create” symbols and designs. The main occasion of painting and renewing their houses is on the “male initiation or wela” (Lalioti 3). The completion of paintings comes with family celebrations and get together. They intend to create these designs just to please the eyes. Their quality of artwork is exceptional as every design includes straight geometric designs. An interesting fact is that they paint all the designs with free hand without any rulers and the help of any shapes. Similarly, it is entirely the responsibility of women to make designs for walls. Their choice of colors and design patterns symbolizes their individuality and creativeness and makes them stand apart. Ndebele women paint both the interiors and exteriors of their houses. Most of the patterns they use are repeated but with variations in colors and designs. According to the reference most of the pictures have black outline and are done on white surface. Every section or pattern is filled with different colors before it gets repeated in the next design. Their connection to the urban society is evident in their paintings. The designs could be a little complicated for the first time viewers. But the understanding makes it clearer when one finds the geometric shapes. The contemporary artists of this tribe usually make use of a wide range of bright colors like yellow, red and green. They use natural colors and few earth colors but their connection with urban society helped them to use synthetic colors as well to create better effect. When discussing art and symbol, Giorgio de Chirico deserves special mention. Born in Greece, he is known for his classic and symbolic representation of art work. He is the pioneer of the “Metaphysical Movement” and was known for his strange style of paintings. He painted the cityscapes not with much movement but with a creepy atmosphere. The streets were often shown as eerie and haunted. Critics have mentioned his art work as dream writings. The themes of most of his paintings were focused on melancholia, done by depicting pictures of clocks. In his images he conveys feelings of power and freedom through trains, clocks, towers, arcades and shadows. The walls and towers of the paintings give a sense of power for the viewer. The most familiar thing in de Chirico’s painting was the “train” which is believed to have a link to his “childhood train set” and also reminiscent of his father was an engineer in ...Show more
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Subject: 12 November 2013 Familiar Symbols in Art and Every Day Life Familiar symbols are a part of art and the play an important role in human life. Symbols convey idea, thoughts and message to the audience. Most of the symbolic art forms do not contain words and that is why in olden times this was the medium to communicate thoughts…
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