A Summertime Collaboration

Snowflakes from a Garden

I live in Vancouver and am a computer based artist. I have a technique that creates images that have many orders of symmetry that are very beautiful in a symmetric way.

My sister lives outside Saint John in New Brunswick in a nice house with a big yard. Herds of deer wander through her yard and she fenced half of it off so she could grow a big garden. Last summer she sent me pictures of the garden each morning and I would turn them into a snowflake. This show is a result of that collaboration.

Years ago I found out how to make images that have both horizontal and vertical symmetry. Later I discovered that if I took an equilateral triangle and centered it on an image like that that I could copy that area into a new image as a layer. Duplicate that and rotate 60 degrees. Then you can move that layer so it lines up with the first one. Repeat that 4 more times and I have made a hexagonal snowflake.

That snowflake is also symmetrical. It has two levels of symmetry - so I think of that as an order 2 symmetry. You can repeat that as many times as you want though it isn't very interesting beyond order 4.

I can do the same with pentagons with 5 layers rotated by 72 degrees. In fact I can do it with any isosceles triangle whose apex angle divides into 360 degrees evenly.

When I first started making snowflakes I was interested in how they could make an interesting image out of anything. I thought I'd get bored. But I kept learning new things about them and now have a lot of creative control and keep finding new things to work with.

This summer's collaboration is a case in point. The combination of biological forms and colors and snowflakes is pretty fantastic.