I held my first exhibition, ‘Strange Attractors’ as part of the 2013 SCHF art program. The brief was to ‘provide hospital patients with a window to an external world that is creative, educational and inspiring.’
The fractal mandalas I created represent my interest in nature, spirituality and the interconnectedness of all things. I designed them using Ultra Fractal and Photoshop. Following the exhibition I was approached by the program director to donate my images to the hospital’s permanent digital media collection, with the view to displaying them on large digital screens throughout the hospital in the future.
A fractal is a special kind of pattern which is formed by repeating a simple shape over and over again. This results in a complex design that is “self similar” – meaning that each part of the shape is a scaled down version of the whole. Fractal geometry occurs often in nature, with some examples being snowflakes, tree branches and the veins on leaves.
A mandala is a spiritual symbol which represents the universe. Mandalas are used by Buddhists and Hindus to help meditation and trance induction, as a spiritual teaching tool, and to establish a sacred space. The symbols used within them have the purpose of linking the outer world to the inner world – thereby encouraging viewers to realise the interconnectedness of all things.
Strange Attractors is a term borrowed from the study of Physics. An attractor is defined as ‘a set of physical properties toward which a system tends to evolve, regardless of the starting conditions of the system’. Strange attractors are attractors formed in a chaotic manner. Chaotic behavior (a concept often referred to as ‘the butterfly effect’) can be observed in most real physical systems of nature, such as the weather and in the orbits of planets.