Approximating Symmetry

Perfect symmetry, while simple to describe mathematically and create with a computer algorithm, is rare in nature. Natural objects exhibiting near-perfect symmetry are striking — mineral crystals, leaves, flowers, animals, canyons, and mountains — but in nearly every case, a closer look reveals differences across supposed lines of symmetry.

The ability to recognize an underlying symmetric form in an image that is mathematically asymmetrical is an example of the highly developed human ability to find and describe patterns. The following series of collages explores this by enforcing reflectional symmetry in geometric shapes. The symmetry is deliberately approximated by using two separate pieces of the same image for each supposed reflection.