Soft drawings: natural dye on silk, interlining
40x40 cm
10 pieces

April 2020
Close your eyes.
         Take a deep breath.

                Imagine lifting your arms away from your body. On each side, a ninety degree angle is formed between your arm and the side of your body. Look to your left. In front of your left hand, you can see a small dot. The dot is a little too far away for you to reach but you clearly feel its presence. You look to your right and beyond your right arm, there is another small dot.

Platonic solids are regular, convex polyhedrons. A polyhedron is a three dimensional shape with flat polygonal-faces, straight edges and sharp corners.

Your body is floating in space.
     The two dots are floating beside you.
        Lower your arms.
Look straight ahead. There is a third dot. This dot has the exact same distance to you as the two dots beside you. Behind you is a fourth dot. The distance between the dots are regular. They form a square. You are in the center.

A Platonic solid is constructed by congruent polygonal faces. The same number of faces meeting at each vertex. All angles are equal and all sides are equal. Five solids fit these criteria. Those are tetrahedron, hexahedron (cube), octahedron, dodecahedron and icosahedron.

Look up.
        Above you, there is another dot. You try to reach it, but it is too far away. Also imagine that you have a similar dot below your feet. You are now encircled by a total of six dots.

Platonic solids do occur in nature, sometimes as tiny building blocks. The tetrahedron, hexahedron and octahedron all occur in crystals. The dodecahedron can be found in the structure of several diatoms. The bacteriophage T4, which is a virus,  has a “head” shaped like an icosahedron. Different elements, like chloride and sodium, can also bond together and in this case form a hexahedron.
Connect the six dots with a thin line. No line should cross another and do not let any line pass through your body. The lines now form a shape, and you are in the center of this shape. From a distance it might look like two pyramids and the bottom pyramid is placed upside down. The pyramid bases are placed towards each other. You are in the center of an octahedron.
In 360 B.C Plato associated four of the Platonic solids with the classical elements: earth, water, air and fire. The octahedron was linked to the element of air. When I was creating my version of the octahedron I was initially thinking about a light, pale blue color. Presumedly inspired by the sky: a fresh, cooling breeze or the feeling of being completely blown through by a strong but delicious breath of wind. But suddenly the covid-19 outbreak was everywhere and overnight the air didn’t feel light blue – or transparent – at all. Light blue was no longer the proper color for my version of the octahedron. In fact, there is never a proper color for anything.
You are inside the octahedron.
        Take a deep breath.
                You are safe here.
Remember that you can always return to this place. Wherever you are you can always return to this octahedron in your mind. This shape is a safe shape. It is your very own space.

Some say that Platonic solids are building blocks of our existence. The only thing I'm sure of is that Platonic solids make the perfect dice. I have probably never seen dice with any other forms then these five solids. Anyhow, I didn't make Platonic solids because what I made is two-dimensional. They are modest illusions of the original shapes.

Like most things are. 

Karin Granstrand   ·   hello (at)   ·   list of works   ·   ·