Patterns In Nature
Gaze at a fern. How is the branching of the leaves so exact? Investigate a pinecone. Why are the scales nestled in a perfect spiral? Though these patterns look visually complex, they organize themselves using a simple mathematical rule known as fractals – a never-ending pattern that repeats at different scales making smaller or larger copies over and over again. Dublin Arts Council’s Patterns in Nature project offers an opportunity to explore the ways that nature organizes itself.
According to Psychology Today, “The results of many studies show that exposure to fractal patterns in nature reduce people’s levels of stress up to 60 percent. It seems this stress reduction effect occurs because of a certain physiological resonance within the eye. Some research indicates that certain types of artwork that have such patterns can also produce a relaxation affect.”
Journey around Dublin parks to discover three new public art vessels, Fractal Boxes, inspired by patterns found in nature. Each box contains free activity booklets, which rotate monthly, offering visitors fractal art activities that inspire connection to nature, promote well-being and nurture creativity. Activities placed inside the Fractal Box artworks each month include a fractal pattern hunt, drawing and understanding leaves and a fractal pattern doodle experience.
Dublin Arts Council wants to share the amazing patterns, both found and created by the community, and plans a Patterns in Nature gallery exhibition at the Dublin Arts Center on Riverside Drive in spring of 2023.
Activity booklet designer
Murteza is a doctoral student in the Arts Administration, Education, and Policy program at The Ohio State University. She received her bachelor’s degree in interior design and her MFA in Design research and development. During her MFA at Ohio State, she explored the intersections of design, nature, and psychological wellbeing. Noor is interested in Design Education and is currently serving as a Graduate Teaching Assistant.
Fractal box artists
Kiwanis Riverway Park Fractal Box
6245 Riverside Dr.
Dublin, Ohio 43017
“The main emphasis of my artwork is to recreate the grandeur and complexity of natural structures. My work recreates the structures found in nature by distilling their essence down to an abstracted form and then creating sculptures similar to those forms.
“This fractal box demonstrates how the replication of simple shapes and colors creates a complex and ornate organic-looking sculpture. Whether it’s the graceful limbs of trees, the intricate structures of mushrooms or the decaying remains of a tree trunk, the structures found in nature amaze, teach and inspire us to find solutions to a host of complex problems.”
Llewellyn Farms Park Fractal Box “Echoes and Hollows”
4850 Tuttle Rd.
Dublin, Ohio 43016
“The fractals that inspired my piece for Llewellyn Farms Park are interpretations of a wide range of inspirations from nature – such as ripples in water, hollows in trees, cellular structures, topographic undulations, or something else imagined.
“Materiality and sustainability are important in my work as the forms I created are comprised of recycled PVC billboard material. Cut and layered from a 10×30’ billboard, the imagery and text from the billboard become obscured and pixelated color arises in the surface. The use of billboard material relates to the functionality of the library box as both are vessels for the dissemination of information.”
M.L. “Red” Trabue Nature Reserve Fractal Box
Two entrances: 6835 Avery-Muirfield Drive / 6566 Post Rd.
Dublin, Ohio 43017
“This fractal box references a species of fungi native to Ohio, the turkey tail fungi, Trametes Versicolor. The fungi grow on dead matter like shaded, fallen trees. This stunning fungus is an example of fractals in nature, as it reveals a pattern that repeats and increases in scale as it grows.
“Its undulating forms and complex colors inspired my design with motifs and colors I use repeatedly in my work. The forms project from the box and are also painted on the flat surfaces, echoing other life forms: flowers, treetops, even clouds, all which also reflect fractals in nature.”
Patterns in Nature is made possible through Dublin Arts Council’s collaboration with the City of Dublin’s Parks & Recreation Department, The Ohio State University’s Department of Arts Administration, Education and Policy, and Department of Design.
This project is a component of a multi-year Art & Wellness initiative, realized with support from the City of Dublin, Ohio Arts Council and The National Endowment for the Arts. Dublin Arts Council would like to thank the community partners who continue to support this initiative, which include the Dublin Community Foundation, Washington Township EMS, Syntero Counseling Centers, Dublin City Schools, Dublin Chamber of Commerce, OhioDance, Japan-America Society of Central Ohio, Dublin Bridges, Cardinal Health and several City of Dublin departments, including Police, Human Resources, Recreation Services and Parks and Recreation. A special thanks to the Fractal Foundation for their plentiful educational resources.
Join the Patterns in Nature photo contest!
Dublin Arts Council wants to show off the awe- inspiring patterns you find along your journey. Share your fractal nature photos by sending us an email or by tagging us on social media, using the hashtag #PatternsInNature
Dublin Arts Council will present these community photos during a special Patterns in Nature gallery exhibition, on view at Dublin Arts Council in Spring 2023. You may even find your photos featured in the slide show below!
The mushroom photos, above, were taken in northern Georgia by Dublin Arts Council staff member Christine Langston.
Learn more about the Patterns in Nature project here: