The simple beauty of the phyllotaxis spiral is at once a highly complex but everyday phenomenon found in plant life around the globe—from the arrangement of leaves on stems to the radiating centre of a sunflower. It is a reminder of the mathematical intricacies of nature.
Despite the exponential growth in our knowledge of the macro and micro worlds, our understanding has made us more aware of our tenuous hold on existence. We are like Cook or Columbus, at sea on a clear moonless night where the horizon dissolves into an endless mirror of stars; or weightless like Armstrong with a small blue sphere in the cradle of his hand. Our scale and position are at the same time insignificant and pivotal. Understanding changes everything.
This work acknowledges the fact that although I can try to recreate, manipulate or interpret this pattern for a wide audience, it is only a tiny piece of the huge evolutionary puzzle all around us, as mirrored in each dome’s surface. The fisheye reflections place us at the centre of our observation.
I often employ natural geometries such as concentric circles, logarithmic and phyllotactic spirals as part of a visual system or structural language. These explorations and observations serve to reinforce an aesthetic appreciation of the underlying principles, laws and geometries that govern, inform and shape our world. Creativity is a natural language to humans—we reshape the nature of the world around us and in turn the world reshapes us.
Matthew Harding, December 2002