Knot No. 1

photo credit: Nora Renick-Rinehart


The design of these flags diagram the steps necessary to tie a weaver’s knot – a knot employed to join two threads, to fix a broken warp, or tie a new warp onto a loom.  In this sense, these flags can be read as practical instructions, communicated in bold colors and graphic patterns.  While illustrating a literal knot, the flags beg consideration of a figurative knot, and the symbolic power of flags to unify people, to rally them to a common cause, and to serve as a patriotic reminder of the national ties that bind.

The diagrams also explore the difference between conceptual understanding and physical dexterity -- the chasm between the representation of a process and the physical execution of that process.  This mirrors the chasm between the lofty ideals embodied in flags, and the frank difficulty of realizing those ideals in practice.

Seen from one sequence, the flags illustrate how to tie a knot. Seen from the opposite direction, they show how a knot can be undone. Acknowledging both possibility and peril, these flags take as their symbol the very process that may leave us either united or untied.

LillStreet Art Center, September, 2016