I have mentioned a few times in previous posts about fractal images often being archetypal. I’m not really sure I was correct in describing them that way, but what I will say is that they often look familiar in a way that transcends their immediate translation into a real object. For instance, when I first looked at this fractal image, I immediately thought of the Aztecs and the patterns they incorporated into their art forms. Having now looked at some Aztec art in more depth, I’m not even sure why I thought of them, other than the feather motif and the colours. That’s just what immediately came to mind. And I have other fractal images created (not shown here) which really speak to me of Native American blanket patterns. Others might look at this piece and be more immediately aware of the hourglass shape. Maybe you will look at it and see something else entirely.
My point is, from near the beginning of humanity, we have been making patterns, whether or not they were drawn with a stick in the sand, sculpted along the edge of a stone building’s rooftop, painted on a cathedral ceiling, or digitally on a tablet. Possibly for 60,000 years, we have been making patterns! And if you look at all the patterns we have been making, you may notice that many of them are self-similar on smaller and smaller scales. We were making fractals and we didn’t have a name for what was common to them all. And we didn’t have a concept of the way fractals were involved in the geometry of nature – not consciously, anyway. Maybe we were consciously inspired by nature, but didn’t recognize that specific aspect of it. Only for the last 30-40 years have we, thanks to Mandelbrot, come to an awareness of this common denominator. I like the way fractals connect all of humanity over time, and the way they connect us to nature. I’m really looking forward to exploring this with future pieces!