Name: Andy Thomas
Which came first in your life, the science or the art?
The art came first, I was always good at drawing from a young age and terrible at science. I struggled with science, but maybe it was the way it was taught to me.
Which sciences relate to your art practice?
As I got older I started watching more and more documentaries and became fascinated with science, particularly biology. As my skills with computer software increased I began to see a direct correlation between my art practice and the science I am now obsessed with.
Well, obviously, biology directly relates to the nature side of my artwork, but I am also very interested in physics, especially fractal theories of self similarity. Repeated patterns found in nature at all levels of scale, from swirling galaxies to hurricane and the multitude of branching structures found in nature, such as trees and lungs. My art is sometimes very detailed, for example, I like to mix photos of moss and jungles together with forests and coral. The fact they blend together so seamlessly emphasizes this theory of self similarity, that natural forms of all different scales have similar properties. No matter how far you zoom in or out you will always find more detail.
What do you use to create your artworks?
I use computers mostly. 3D software such as 3DS Max, Zbrush and photoshop to create my still work. And 3DS Max with a range of particle effects software to create my animation work.
A few years ago I began to experiment with visualizing bird sounds by running WAV files I recorded in the field into my computer and using the audio to drive particle effects simulations. The idea being to create a semi abstract computer version of a natural sound that reflected the subject matter in a number of ways, be it colour of plummage or even the bird’s diet.
People seemed to have a real connection with hearing bird sounds and seeing them at the same time.
Artwork/Exhibition you are most proud of:
The work I am most proud of is what I am currently creating for the Nature centre in Haltia Finland (see video below). They have commissioned me to travel various locations around Finland and sample nature with my camera and sound recording equipment, it will be projected on their big curved screen and opening in August 2016.
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