Vincent Schumacher

Williamstown, Massachusetts, USA

These photographs combine my interests in programming and graphic art. They are tessellations with a new constraint. A photographic image is placed on the face of one or more tiles and must -- through reflection, rotation, or translation -- connect seamlessly to the edge of every other tile it touches. Sometimes I start with a photo and fit it to a tessellation. Other times I start with a tessellation and create a photo that will fill it with an interesting pattern. At a distance these photos look like abstract patterns. Closer in they become obvious photos. But closing in further, new sub-patterns emerge. One grid can create vastly different finished works and one photo can do the same if cut to fit a different grid. Varieties galore.

Pentagon Bee on Flower
50 x 50 cm

The challenge was to fill a tessellated space with a photographic image so that the edge of each tile continued seamlessly into the edge of every tile it touched. This image began as a pentagon-cropped bee on a flower. The pentagon was mirrored and rotated along an edge until 10 pentagonal images circled back to line up seamlessly with the original. To fill the interior of this circle, a 72-72-36 degree triangle was cut from the original pentagon and mirrored inward. This created 10 triangles whose center angles added to 360 degrees. New triangular cuts were reflected outward to expand the image so the photo could be cropped to a square. The final seamless image creates new sets of visual patterns not found in the tessellated space alone.

Receding Squares of Leaf
50 x 50 cm

The challenge was to create a tessellated space where the image on the tiles would become visually smaller as it approached the outward boundary. The tessellation was a simple large square surrounded by medium-sized squares, then by even smaller squares. A nine-branched leaf fills the central square. It is visually divided into a 3 x 3 grid and the images in each grid are mirrored outward. This means, for example, the image on the upper-left corner is mirrored twice - once upward and once to the left. The images on each square continue to be split and mirrored, unfolding in smaller bits as they go outward. The center square is 'disguised' by our mind which sees the central repeating pattern as four different squares rather than one square.