Lee Angold

Natural Science Illustrator
KW Artists Co-op
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

The natural world is rich and lush with texture, pattern, colour and mathematical form. Too often, we go through life not noticing the complex and fascinating natural world that surrounds us. I search for and document interesting little bits of nature most people wouldn’t look twice at – pebbles, pieces of tree bark, pinecones, focusing on drawing attention to their unique features of each subject . I consider my work most successful when it draws viewers in to study and be captivated the details of a natural object they would usually pass by without noticing.

Pinus nigra
Pinus nigra
42 x 30 cm
Watersoluble carbon on paper

This piece is a study of Fibonacci spirals in the cones of the Austrian Pine (Pinus nigra), inspired by the work of Ernst Haeckel. Phyllotaxis describes the spiral growth of plants. The Fibonacci spiral is the most compact growth pattern for a phyllotaxis structure. In perfect conditions, most spiral growth will follow Fibonacci spirals.

Equally fascinating are cases where the sequence is disturbed, creating an “imperfect” spiral. Distortions, gaps, and split spirals each tell a story. If a cell didn’t form in the expected place, what changed the path of least resistance? A branch blocking new growth? A change in sun direction? I have shown both perfect and imperfect spirals from a variety of angles and cross-sections.