Phil Webster

Phil Webster Design
Scotts Valley, California, USA

All of my work stems from one core impulse: to celebrate the inherent beauty of mathematical forms. These forms appear all around us—in trees and crystals, in dunes and flowers, in ancient temples and modern skyscrapers. Rather than directly depict these outer manifestations, I explore the abstract forms underlying it all—polyhedra, fractals, tessellations, lattices. There is something sacred in the creation and viewing of these forms that allows me to meditate on the infinite patterns present in the deep structure of our world.

Since traveling to India in 2012, I have been particularly focused on blending traditional Islamic motifs with polyhedra and fractals. The results are distinctly Islamic in flavor but with a modern twist.

Islamic 8-fold Fractal Flower (Median)
Islamic 8-fold Fractal Flower (Median)
50 x 50 cm
Digital print on aluminum

This piece continues a series from my paper at Bridges 2013. As with several previous works, it has global and local 8-fold rotational symmetry around the center and each gold star, respectively. Star centers occupy the nodes of 8 fractal quaternary trees, which are pruned at the octant boundaries. The 8 levels of recursion allow a new behavior to emerge not shown in previous works: the trees' branches start to collide. Slight modifications allow the pattern to connect with itself, forming the "holes" near the edges.

The "median" in the title refers to the angles the stars make with edge of the underlying polygonal subgrid (all previous works were in the "acute" family). The colors are typical of traditional Moroccan tile work.