Regina Valluzzi

Boston, MA

I often ask myself whether I'm a physical scientist who also creates art, or an artist who has studied a bit too much math and physics. In all honesty, I draw and paint the way I do because of my background in the Physical Sciences. Many of my drawings feature explicit motifs and ideas drawn directly from mathematics and physics and digressions into molecular biology, biophysics, and nearby fields. Most also incorporate patterns and ideas of order drawn from Statistical Physics. Visually, these ideas create drawings that coalesce from patterns of tiny lines and shapes.

Variation on a Cayley Tree
Variation on a Cayley Tree
10 x 8 inches (framed)
ink on paper (hand drawn)

The Cayley tree is a mathematical object related to a Bethe Lattice. It's essentially a branched structure. Each node joining the branches in the tree has three branches emanating from it. Each branch terminates at another node which also branches. A smooth plane has two dimensions and a smooth line has one dimension, but a Cayley tree has an intermediate dimensionality. This can be useful for certain types of calculations: where a fractal surface either better reflects the physics of the system, or where the symmetry of the Cayley tree simplifies the physics and/or math.
Some liberties were taken with the strict branching geometry and topology of the mathematical object, in order to map it onto a form that actually resembles a tree.