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I quickly realised that if I wanted to pursue the Gleizes adventure I would have to work with her. I moved into Ampuis in 1987 perhaps not quite realising I would be there for some ten years as well as three years spent with Henri Viaud in the Jabron valley. It wasn't always easy. Genevieve had the habit - disconcerting for anyone like myself with a University background and intellectual pretensions - of treating her pupils like children. It was a quite deliberate strategy on her part. She wanted to establish that we were all - herself included - beginners and that in this field knowledge gained elsewhere would be of little use. Her starting point, for beginners of any age, was a method used by Anne Dangar when teaching the children in Sablons - the Method for Creative Design developed by the Mexican Adolfo Best-Maugard and taught for a while in the 1920s as part of government policy in Mexican schools. It was based on seven 'motifs' which, Best-Maugard argues (p.127) 'exist alike in the ancient arts of the Toltecs, Egyptians, Lake-dwellers, Assyrians, Chinese, Greek, early Britain, Persian, Hindu, Aztec and many others'.

These seven motifs are the spiral, the circle, the half circle, the S form, the wavy line, the zig-zag and the straight line. Although Best-Maugard's book shows how these can be used to build up representational figures, one of the merits of the method for Genevieve as for Anne Dangar, was to introduce the child/beginner to the sheer pleasure and power of non-representational forms. The simple straight line for example. Which could be vertical, horizontal or diagonal. Primitive man (Genevieve was not worried about using gender-neutral language) was struck by the verticality of the trees and the horizontal character of the sea, and by his own verticality when standing and horizontality when lying down. Both proclaimed an essential stability but they were very different from each other. Gleizes had argued that one of the virtues of Cubism (felt intuitively by Cézanne) had been to restore the verticality of the picture plane, broken in so many representational paintings by the need to distinguish earth and sky (Gleizes's great painting Terre et Ciel - part of André Dubois's collection now in the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lyon - was in Ampuis at the time). The horizontal and the vertical are of course combined in the rectangle which is the usual format for a painting and the necessary starting point for teaching the 'mode opératoire' of Gleizes. But that massive stability is disturbed by the introduction of the diagonal - we might think of the quarrel that broke out in the Dutch group De Stijl between Mondrian and Van Doesburg when Van Doesburg tilted his compositions to an angle. Straightaway we understand that without any representation - the representation indeed becomes an intrusion, something alien - the raw straight line can have a powerful effect on our sensibility.

The first exercise with the seven motifs was - as it was for Best-Maugard - the devising of 'borders' or 'friezes' - the organisation of the motifs into a horizontal sequence of repeated forms. And here the child-beginner is introduced to a second characteristic of visual art independent of any representation, a function quite crucial to the teaching of Albert Gleizes - the mobility of the eye. The repeated motifs along a horizontal line are the easiest possible demonstration of the ability of the eye to pass from one thing to another and thus to enter into time, the ability to structure time that is more usually associated with music.

Beginner's exercise it might have been but the possibilities implicit in the seven motifs are enormous and few people in our own time have exploited them with more verve and imagination than Genevieve's daughter, herself also a potter, Aguilberte.

Examples of Aguilberte's work can be seen on this site in the article on an exhibition  of pottery in Moly Sabata in 2012.