Aldred creates art from virtual worlds

Darrell
Darrell Cole
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rtist’s exhibit to open season at Tidnish Bridge gallery

Joanna Aldred will host the first exhibit at the Tidnish Bridge Art Gallery beginning on Sunday.

Joanna Aldred looks over Fractal Moon, a piece of art that will be part of her Infinity exhibit at the Tidnish Bridge Art Gallery beginning Sunday. The 15-year-old Shinimicas resident will be on hand for a meet-the-artist session from 2 to 4 p.m. on the opening day.

AMHERST – Joanna Aldred is an explorer, but instead of visiting new lands she creates and ventures into new virtual worlds looking for visual meaning.

The 15-year-old Shinimicas resident is already an experienced artist for her age, having started with art at age 10. She doesn’t put paint to canvas, or pen or pencil to paper, but uses intricate mathematical formulas to create visually stunning pieces of digital art.

Aldred will help open the Tidnish Bridge Art Gallery’s new season when she opens her exhibit Infinity on Sunday beginning at 2 p.m. and running through June 7.

“For the last couple of years I’ve been working with fractal artworks, sometimes called algorist art because it uses mathematical formulas or algorithms,” Aldred said. “An algorist is like an artist explorer, creating and venturing into new virtual worlds looking for visual meaning. Then, like a photographer, I capture that perfect moment.”

Creating fractal art is not as easy as punching mathematical formulas into a computer. Sometimes it can take days to find what she’s trying to express. Every image is unique because the variables used creates an infinite number of worlds.

Aldred’s background started in photography. She was often borrowing her father’s camera and taking photos. From there, she became interested in cartoons and even developed her own comic featuring cats.

“I got into this form of art after my father downloaded a program for making fractals. He wanted me to experiment with it. I took it from there,” she said. “I enjoyed it because after hours and hours of looking for something nice this amazing image came out. When I saw it I knew right then what I wanted to focus on it.”

She said it’s like photography in that you’re capturing the moment when you see it.

Aldred, who is home-schooled and wants to become a geneticist, is looking forward to her first show. She admits to being a little giddy because it’s a whole new experience. She’s been to art shows with her parents Mathew and Maria, who are both artists, so she sort of knows what to expect. This is the first time she will be the centre of attention.

“We’ve experimented with it but Joanna has taken it to a new level,” Mike said. “It takes a lot of patience. She’ll spend days looking for the right images. The best way to describe it is you’re like an explorer and you’re exploring virtual worlds.

“There’s a technical side to it, but there’s also an artistic side to it. You can know how to use the programs, but you wouldn’t produce anything you’d want to look at unless you had some idea of artistic meaning.”

From those images, he said, his daughter is able to draw analogies from the real world. Her image, Fractal Moon, looks like a silver moon rising over a body of water.

In another image, she took a photo of herself and melded it into fractal art to create a stunning image that’s full of colour.

For more information, go to www.aldredartworks.com .

darrell.cole@tc.tc

Twitter: @ADNdarrell

Organizations: Tidnish Bridge Art Gallery, Amherst News

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