Libby Boyd

Artist Statement

Simply put, my artwork is an exploration of pattern.  My love of patterns stems from my childhood which was engrossed in patterns.  The poppies of the Finnish brand Marimekko adorning everything from coffee mugs to bedspreads in my Grandma Seaton’s house, the wallpaper clad walls of my Grandma Boyd, and the floral fabric squares of my mom’s numerous quilts are a few of the countless places I was exposed to pattern.  As an appreciation for pattern was instilled in me, each of these houses simultaneously developed a fondness for puzzles and games was as well. Due to a combination of these elements I developed an obsession with finding where patterns repeated. I was always equally disappointed when I found evidence of random placement or a pattern that was painstakingly obvious, and for this reason I strive to make patterns that are neither random nor simple.  

Each woodblock is carved in such a way that it can not only be repeated but also rotated in any direction and the lines of the block will still match up.  With each rotation, new shapes and possible patterns are created. The simplicity of using a single color and undetailed shapes contrasts and thinly veils the complexity with which these shapes are made. Woodblock printing is used precisely for the inconsistencies it brings to the table.  The slight variation from print to print of the block adds interest and gives insight into my process by revealing where the block starts and ends.

In my exploration of pattern, I wish to leave no stone unturned and as such I have looked at the effects of incorporating patterns into pictures, animations, and objects of daily life.  I find beyond the aesthetic value of pattern, it’s introduction can make one question the reality of an object or picture. In addition, I have made patterns out of tiles, mainly as a way to make my process more accessible to viewers, to the point where they themselves are the pattern makers, not me.  

The striking color and size of my work will catch the viewer’s eye, but I hope the intricacy with which the blocks are positioned keep their attention.  Not every person will be interested in finding the pattern, but for those who are, I hope my shapes can be a momentary respite from a chaotic world. I hope that the intention behind my patterns can comfort others the way they comfort me.