The Balance of Chaos and Harmony

Bead Weaving fine art necklace, The Balance of Chaos and Harmony

The Balance of Chaos and Harmony, ©Patricia C Vener
$627.00 USD

Chaos is associated with an emotional sense of frenzy while harmony seems to evoke tranquility and quietude. People often ascribe the former with negative and the latter with positive connotations. I don’t know why. Chaos is bees, hummingbirds, flowers, and the shape of a coastline close up. Harmony is a close relationship of musical notes, a well planned garden. (Maxwell Smart’s Control is a lot more chaotic than his nemesis group’s Chaos.)

Chaos is also oten confused with random, but these are not synonymous. Chaos Theory explains how a seemingly random result may arise from distant miniscule causes that may not be readily seen to be connected to the observed result. The theory is only about 30 years old but it has had great impact on many fields of study both in and out of physics. In art it can be seen expressed through fractals – one of those intersections where art and math collide and collude!

Sadly, there does not appear to be a Harmony Theory in mathematics or physics. I suppose the closest would be the fundamental Laws of Thermodynamics. (Ask me about these, please.) Or the topic of harmonics in wave theory – except harmonics is an observable behavior rather than a set of principles. Harmony in art, now, that’s a value judgement and completely subject to the observer and probably influenced by the observer’s cultural experiences.

The necklace, The Balance of Chaos and Harmony, earned its name while I was working on it. It was created in response to a competition challenge. The participants were supplied with a focal bead (in my case, the beautiful flower made by lampworker Brea Moser) and a set of translucent white and silverlined seed beads, larger black shaped beads, a strange silver ring and told to create. We were allowed to add our own beads and other components.

My mantra for this project was “push through that envelope.” So where is the chaos and the harmony? The center part of the piece is free form netting. (As far as I know I’m the only artist who does this). Free form is chaos. The two vintage shoe clips are different but share the same basic fan shape – harmony and chaos. The narrow “straps” mirror each other – harmony.

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