There are many reasons I love going to the movies but at the top of my list are always the set design and the costumes (love the full popcorn bucket, the diet soda and the drama as well). I went with my family to see Clash of the Titans last Friday and while the story was campy, fun and I benefited from my teenagers refreshing me in advance on Greek gods, I was not disappointed on the design front. In one scene the camera was panning from inside a room out through a large opening towards an outdoor balcony. The camera, and me in the audience, guided through the most lovely set of sheers that flanked the opening. What was so lovely about them besides being sheer? The classic Greek key motif. Love it!
Did you know, that in art, design and architecture, a decorative border constructed from a continuous line and shaped into a repeated motif is called a ‘meander’? One iconic meander is the Greek Key or Greek Fret. There are may theories about why these motifs prevail and what their historical significance might be, but I’m of the school of thought that they originated and prevailed through the years because they were simple shapes and easy to reproduce in clay, tile and textiles.
Meanders are common decorative elements in not only Greek and Roman art and architecture, but also in the pottery and decorative arts of the American Southwest. The design element is common in neo-classical architecture around the world, and many traditional and historic buildings in and around China still bear geometric designs almost identical to the Grecian meanders. Simple, easy to create and easily reproduced. Can’t get much better than that.