Patterns Project

Marta at the Carl Schuster Archive in Basel, Switzerland.

Marta Salas-Porras is a visual artist and designer who has been designing ways to tell the story of how a collective analysis of symbols and patterns of ancient and tribal art connects us as a species on this planet. She has been looking at ways to engage the public in an art piece that poses the question, “Why are there so many ancient symbols throughout the world carrying the same characteristics…what does this signify?” Marta is using the highly-developed art and multi-media skills she has honed over the last thirty years to present these explorations with large scale projections and an exhibition that shares the impact one comes to discover through countless photographs, drawings, and letters. “This world of visual language is rich with our legacy and our own questions on how we are connected to each other”, shares Salas-Porras, “there is no better time in the 21st Century to tell this story than right now.”

Salas-Porras has been studying at the Carl Schuster Archive in Basel, Switzerland. She is interested in telling this fascinating story and has been focused on the relationship that Schuster had with a complex network of people worldwide who shared his passion and enthusiasm.

“The over 30,000 pages of personal correspondence connect many clues and brings to life the power of these connected patterns and the great implications of the commonalities between cultures worldwide.” Writes Marta, “In these times, when we are challenged by the issues regarding race, culture and identity, it is increasingly relevant to examine these ancient patterns that connects all peoples.”

This visual language is a way of seeing how humanity is connected to each other. The richness of the archive and its scholarship is found in the sheer volume of entries it houses at the museum. Ted Carpenter, executor of the Carl’s literary estate, renown archeologist, and the creator of twelve volumes on Materials for the Study of Social Symbolism in Ancient and Tribal Art: A Record of Tradition and Continuity based on Schuster’s work, concluded “I understand more of the hidden stories through the exploration of this extraordinary archive and I find myself looking deeper into a way of seeing.”



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