Oz Originals

Prints         Pendants


What are fractals?

Fractals (or fractal designs, or fractal images) are irregular yet ordered patterns. Considered a branch of geometry, they are found in nature — for example, snowflakes and ferns — and can also be generated on a computer, using special programs. Fractal geometry falls within the relatively new branch of mathematics known as chaos theory.

The Mandelbrot set (named after fractal pioneer Benoit Mandelbrot) is the best-known formula or equation used to generate fractals, but there are others too.

Fractal geometry is not just about interesting, intricate and sometimes beautiful designs. It also has many scientific uses, for example in studying the structure of mountains, coastlines, weather systems, and complex biological systems.

An intriguing fractal feature is that the pattern repeats itself as you zoom further in on the detail. This self-similarity is easily seen in natural objects such as ferns, where the leaf pattern repeats itself at different scales in the plant's structure. Other examples where natural fractals can be seen include caulifowers, snowflakes, and the human lung.

But is it Art?

By varying the equations used, the zoom factor and the colour palette, fractal artists can produce a virtually limitless number of different designs.

To use a fractal generator program is to embark on a fascinating voyage of disovery. If fractals embody the seemingly paradoxical notion of “ordered irregularity”, perhaps fractal art can be considered creative exploration.

Whether you're a creative explorer or just enjoy the end results of others' explorations, fractal art can help to give (in Mandelbrot's words) a feeling for “the beauty and eloquence of mathematics, and its profound relationship with the real world”.

Prints     Pendants

  << Back