Patterns on unexpected surfaces fascinate me endlessly. On a visit to the Lincoln Park Conservatory last week my biologist friend wowed me in the fern room by showing me a beautiful pattern of dots on the underside of a fern leaf. The sori, which looked like brown spots of rust, are groupings of spores that help the fern reproduce. My biology recap ended there, though, because after she told me that the patterns differed depending on the fern, I got lost in folding back fern fronds for the visual buzz it gave me.
Earlier, I posted on Caren Alpert’s photographs, which reveal a rich world of surface patterns by magnifying the surfaces of foods. Her photos are reminiscent of landscapes as seen from above and in a twist on that idea, here are two artists that do the reverse. Sonja Hinrichsen and Andres Amador, both featured on Colossal recently, have used temporal landscape surfaces – snow and sand – as a canvas to create patterns that are so large in scale that distance is the only way to fully see them.
In Hinrichsen’s photographs of her snow drawing piece, created at Rabbit Ears Pass, Colorado, dozens of connected spirals look both organic and ordered. I also like the relationships between the trees (permanent) and the spirals (temporary).
Andreas Amador, an artist based in San Fransciso, waits for the lowest tides to execute a design. His work lasts only as long as the encroaching waves of the rising tide allow. My favorites are those with shapes that relate directly to the more permanent features of the site.
Both artists have many more images and some great video on their sites.