Artist Blog

Every week an artist whose single image was published by Der Greif is given a platform in which to blog about contemporary photography.

Knot Studies

Feb 18, 2021 - Matthew Shain

“To me the simple act of tying a knot is an adventure in unlimited space. A bit of string affords a dimensional latitude that is unique among the entities. For an uncomplicated strand is a palpable object that, for all practical purposes, possesses one dimension only. If we move a single strand in a plane, interlacing at will, actual objects of beauty and of utility can result in what is practically two dimensions; and if we choose to direct our strand out of this one plane, another dimension is added which provides opportunity for an excursion that is limited only by the scope of our own imagery and length of the rope maker’s coil.”


-Clifford B. Ashley, The Ashley Book of Knots


I began a study of knots several years ago, not to faithfully and mechanically represent them, nor to romantically render their form, but to treat the cordage as a line, and to collapse it back into the two-dimensional plane. The pictures are of knots, but they are about the conundrum of depicting three-dimensional objects in two-dimensional space, of vision and photography.