"It seems altogether fitting that life emerged from geochemistry. We have so much in common with Earth. I try to capture the extraordinary paradox of exquisite structure spontaneously emerging in a world of increasing randomness and disorder. My images represent lyrical portraits of entropy!”
Patrick Lysaght photographs and digitally enhances natural transitions. His new photography book, Morphology of Fleeting Structure - the art and science of fluid flow and crystal growth in the living and nonliving worlds, is the subject of a documentary film slated for release in 2021.
His work is an appreciation of our physical connection with nature in a time of waning truth and a call to actively work to create the world we want. As an electrical engineer, he measured the onset of crystallization in nanoelectronic materials only a few atoms thick and became fascinated by structure common throughout nature at microscopic and grand scales. Painting with saturated colors of light, in the style of Vittorio Storaro, accentuates the beauty of patterns we share with the planet.
“My work highlights our physical connection to the environment in stunning examples of patterns and structures hidden in plain sight,” he has said. Life develops around fractal vascular networks established to efficiently transport nutrients and oxygen. Our lungs, blood vessels, circulatory, respiratory, neural, and renal systems are examples of self-similarity, where each tiny part is a replica of the whole. “I digitally paint these images to animate the efficient fractal branching networks of fluid flow and the geometric precision of crystal growth that emerges from random events.”
Lysaght’s art takes a sociopolitical stand. The history of the world is written in blood by societies of subjugation and slavery. Natural metaphors of social justice are realized in the never-ending struggle for equality fought in a density barrier tug-of-war at the stream/sand interface. Surface tension rises in the streambed as a muted cry for justice! Lysaght's work also includes mysterious concave/convex optical illusions of irregular topography that give rise to age old questions of free will, chance and determinism.
This review was published by Circle Foundation for the Arts © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist