Patternity – Pioneers of Positive Change
You refer to nature and the environment a lot. Why is so important to you?
It really is at the heart of everything we create. Nowadays, more of us live in cities than the countryside and technology has further removed us from nature day-to-day. But without nature, there is nothing, no life.
We often conduct our meetings outside – maybe walking or even lying down, staring at the sky. And we are surrounded by plants at work.
Our work aims to raise awareness of our deep connection with nature and what we can learn from the patterns and rhythms of nature in our own lives. It’s vital to be connected to the celestial rhythms of nature. It reminds us to take time to rest, reflect and restore our energy. Nature really is the ultimate teacher if you make space to listen to it.
You’re also interested in the healing power of music.
Well, we first met in a club in east London twelve years ago, so it’s a huge part of what we are. Early on, we would go to music festivals to photograph the joyful, kaleidoscope of patterns that could be found there.
As our pattern research deepened, we began to bring music more consciously into our projects and practices. We’ve worked with sound healers, producers, created podcasts and playlists to support workflow. In some of our workshops, we play instrumental music during the creative exercises to guide participants away from the busy mind and towards more embodied states of creative flow.
Tell us a bit more about the workshops and events that you do?
Our events are an extension of our practice, where we invite guests to learn more about the soothing power of nature through patterns. On 20 September, we are hosting a Plantlife Drawing workshop online. Together we’ll be looking closely at the patterns, textures and shapes plants, and hearing how they can inform us about growth and resilience to take into our own lives. And we’ll be teaching some drawing techniques to help connect with our creativity.
A couple of years ago, we published our second book, Be Great, Be Grateful; A Gratitude Journal for Positive Living (Ebury Press). It’s a guide to help people design moments and develop habits to pause and reflect in their daily lives.
What have you got coming up?
We’re working on a retreat focused around the naturally occurring psychoactive drug psilocybin. We’re also in early conversations with two ocean-based initiatives; one is exploring the language patterns of whales, which is truly fascinating.
We’ve also developing and revisiting some of our products; some will be physical products for the home and body, others education-based products, such as online courses and tool kits.
How has lockdown affected you?
It’s been a welcome pause for us; we’ve had time to reflect and really tune into what feels important to us moving forward. In fact, we moved out of our studio two years ago and intentionally chose to work from our respective homes. Now many people are thinking of working like this since lockdown. We organise our day around what works for us. We can take walks in nature, go for a swim, and just find spaciousness as and when we need it. For us, lockdown hasn’t had a huge impact on our approach, as such, as we already work from home and live in our own pattern.
What effect does staring at a screen have on us? How can we spend our time doing other things?
There is so much research on the effects of screen time, and it’s likely that most of us spend too much time looking at them and feeling guilty. But it’s potentially just as harmful to have this negative narrative of guilt. It’s really important to have downtime. Sometimes that means still looking at a screen, but the key is to find a way, so the screen isn’t always a magnetic pull.
Our workshops have always been centred around helping people get offline and tuned into the soothing visual of patterns, and to balance this with the mostly digital life of modern-day creatives and designers. We have created simple exercises – drawing and writing – that allow people to come together, and be guided through a process, and have time away from the screen.
What single piece of advice could you give to our readers to help them with their day-to-day living?
Take time to notice nature. It will guide you home.