Geometric Pattern wheela exploration

I’m trying an experiment that is completely different visually, though it uses the tools I’ve already developed. This pattern has no evident repetition — it’s sort of a big swirl, but the individual pieces are still reflections of adjacent pieces. Here the template is applied to a familiar photo of a barberry bush, and a photo of creepers hanging from branches, silhouetted by a dawn sky.

2005wmartawheela_1

2005wmartawheela_1

2005rtopdwheela_1

2005rtopdwheela_1

If you would share your reactions to these, I’d be interested in hearing them.

[appended this image in illustration of a comment below]

2005frostgrassawheela_1a

2005frostgrassawheela_1a

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3 Responses to “Geometric Pattern wheela exploration”

  1. Meg Maker Says:

    I do like these. I like the lack of repetition, the fact that the designs seem to be creating themselves. They have more visual depth than some of your other work — the barberry in particular is deep — and they express more vegetal qualities than the others. They’re still, I think, pretty insistently symmetrical, though, in the way a tiger cat is symmetrical, or a composite flower. The bits aren’t radially identical, but the bilateral pattern is close enough that on a meta level it is symmetrical.

    Also, you might experiment with the ground, and figure-ground relationships. These images are almost iconographic, like altar images of saints and angels. They exists in their own world, and not of ours. How can you ground them to ours?

  2. dhill Says:

    Interesting. Well, I suppose they’d make a nice little twosome table in a coffee shop. Maybe I could convince a local furniture maker to have a go at it.

    Or I could have insects nibbling at the edges.

    Or you could be looking at them down a tunnel, with a wet reflective floor and ventilation pipes along the top. (When I was working on games based on the Unreal Tournament 3D engine, I did put patterns on walls, floors and ceilings and it was awesome.)

    Or looking down at a beach scene and these are two overlapping umbrellas which are startlingly conjoined.

    Personally, the only thing I especially like about these two is the way the barberry pops out of the upper one. The rings of reflections are too hard to control and arbitrary. That is, if I pick one particular reflection to feature, then all the others are defined. Also, if there are any long lines, they inevitably go out to the edge and are broken off someplace, which give a jagged impression. I added an additional image above to illustrate this.

    You’ve certainly put your finger on a central challenge of this whole technique. Through long usage, picture frames have come to be an accepted transition device for photographs — they take this record of an instant when a camera shutter was opened, when some photographer pointed the camera, when some momentary scene was passing — and make a place for it, today, in the room with us. The photographer usually helps by drawing attention in to the center, and avoiding having important lines cut off by the frame. There isn’t any such framing convention for these pieces of photographs cut and assembled. The raw edges are visible.

    Here are the methods I’ve tried so far to bound these patterns in a way that is acceptable to viewers.
    1) Repeat a pattern enough times that the viewer can visually extrapolate, then cut it off where some change in color, density, or contrast suggests a complete unit. This was easiest in my greeting cards because the edge of the image was the edge of the card.
    2) Center around a circular image, draw attention to the center, and cut off in a square. Ideally the bit in the corners should complement the central image, but not distract from it. This square cutoff rarely seems quite right — it seems the thing should really be a circle, but if I let them go out to a circle the cut off edge seems even more wrong.
    3) Make a pattern that repeats along the edge, and pick a piece of the photograph to form that edge which seems frame-like. The snow pattern in a previous post is an example of this.

  3. Patterns of Reflection » Further Geometric Pattern wheela exploration Says:

    [...] an earlier post, Meg commented, “Also, you might experiment with the ground, and figure-ground relationships. [...]

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