Patterns of Life

When I look to nature for artistic inspiration, I love to observe the patterns in my environment. Everything around me either contains patterns or shares its existence with others to form a greater pattern. All of nature dances with rhythmic cadence and, through my personal experiences and observations with this cadence, I have come to believe there are no accidents.

Some of the most ubiquitous forms that exist in nature, spheres and spirals, can be seen everywhere. Raindrops, each drop seemingly halted as seen via fast-capture imaging,  are round: the surface tension of the water draws it together in free fall. Our luminous moon, the distant planets and stars, are all spheres, each spinning through the depths of space. Nuclei of living cells are frequently round. An unbroken, golden egg yolk is round. Pebbles, if left in streams long enough, also begin to round.

The spiral suffuses so many things: snail shells, seashells, cabbage leaves and rose petals grow spiraling out from center points. The galaxy itself, when seen from afar, spins – its arms spiral outward from its black center deep inside. Fern leaves unfurl from a spiral as they open and mature. Weather, too, expresses spirals: hurricanes and tornadoes spiral and rotate in their paths across heaven and earth. Water spirals as it rapidly flows down a drain.

Crystals grow in patterns of sometimes delicate, sometimes complex geometry. The testimony of their formation is drawn from the inner logic of molecular lattices deep within. Every species of crystal shows a definite and predictable design, which man reliably uses to identify and determine its type and composition.

Patterns also show in other ways through human behavior, ceremonies and celebrations, fashions, and events in history that seem to cycle back once again after intercedingly long intervals.

Because of my one-on-one experience and observances of such a dynamic existence that we all live within, I have realized that these ubiquitous spirals, as an art symbology, represent time flow; and, likewise, circles represent time and continuum.

I am a part of the repeating patterns in my everyday personal existence, and thus I am reminded that, I too, play a part in this greater design: a design too great for me to wholly see, that began long before man began life on earth and which will last perpetuum.

Charity Goodwin, Artist


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