Galileo said 'The book of nature is written in the language of mathematics'. Frances Doherty has come to realise over the years that it is the maths in plants, often the Fibonacci sequence, that inspires her sculptures. The desire for symmetry is a strong passion in humans, and plants are frequently made up of recurring symmetrical patterns.
In order to see this clearly I must make my sculptures large enough to be able to see this from a distance, just as an insect must. The plant provides an easy way for its necessary pollinator to identify it and help to continue the life cycle.
There is a strength and beauty in a repeated form, and many artists employ this method in their work. For Frances to discover the pattern inside a plant she will photograph it and blow up the image to peek inside. Sometimes it is necessary to tease the plant apart and figure out its method of growth, this is the really interesting part of my research.
Her collections have ranged from seedpods to flower centres, sea anemones to cacti and future collections will include funghi. In all of these she has figured out the pattern and used this as her starting point for building.
The work will always start on the potters wheel, allowing her to build up the internal form fairly quickly and this can then be manipulated and modelled upon. Colours and glazes are chosen with care to complement the form and add life.