Iterations of Nature: Series I: Botanical

The photographs for this series introduce unique designs based on botanical forms. Each image begins with a core pattern. Every iteration of the core is a reflection of its adjoining patterns (flipped front to back, left to right). By replicating mirror images of the core pattern multiple times, a design emerges that actively engages the viewer.

Similar-looking repeating images bring fractals to mind but these photographs are at the other end of the representational spectrum. Fractal patterns -- studied at a small scale -- provide statistical models for describing seemingly random patterns (snowflakes, coastlines and galaxies, for example) that exist at larger scales in the real world. Thinking of fractals in this way, they go from abstract to concrete as their arrangements scale up. By way of contrast, the images in this exhibit start with a photo of a real, concrete object that becomes increasingly abstract as the composition grows. It takes your imagination to decipher and comprehend the finished design.

However, finding the core photograph is not essential for enjoying these images because the initial pattern morphed into a larger design. Gazing at a whole image is a reminder that vision is not a passive process and that we are never just observers looking at an object. Instead, as we contemplate the picture before us -- for a moment, for a while -- our mind is connecting and categorizing pieces of the whole; only those parts that have some personal meaning enter into our awareness. We may glimpse vaguely familiar points of reference, but we usually have to work at seeing something recognizable: a face; an alien life form; a stylized landscape.

What we find within any of these images can change from time to time; it can also differ depending on viewing distances, angle of perspective and lighting effects. When I started creating these images, I had not expected to continue discovering new patterns embedded within a whole photograph. So it always catches me by surprise when I come across a new visual relationship or a fresh face looking back at me. What is even more fascinating is the realization that the previously undiscovered pattern was there -- all along -- waiting to reveal itself.

Jim Brockmeyer
Christina Lake, British Columbia
November, 2012

Corn Smut

Jim Brockmeyer

I shot the original core pattern images in this series with a basic SLR Pentax camera fitted with a 50mm (1:2) lens and using Fuji professional 35mm slide film. High resolution scans of those slides were then manipulated to  assemble the enlargements. Most of the original photographs were taken of plants that I grow in my nursery.

Previous Exhibitions

My photographs have been exhibited at other art galleries prior to this (at the places listed below). This is the first time that a series of my “Iterations of Nature” photographs has been on display.

October, 2008 - January, 2009
“Fotonarrenen Im Garten”
Krishaus in Forst (Lausitz), Germany

May 2 - May 30, 2008
“Shutterbugs in the Garden”
Revelstoke Art Gallery; Revelstoke, British Columbia

August 7 - October 13, 2007
“Shutterbugs in the Garden”
Grand Forks Art Gallery; Grand Forks, B.C.

For more information on the artist, please contact: