As a scientist, my eyes and mind have been trained to respond to patterns in the natural world. These patterns result from the response of complex systems to physical laws, whose ultimate expression is cast in mathematical form. Mathematical forms -- be they equations or geometrical constructs -- evoke a sense of beauty, much like a poem or symphony. But the world of nature, while shaped by physical laws, is inherently chaotic. My goal in this series of images is to use the worlds of mathematical perfection and beauty to show the equally profound beauty of the natural world.
Karen Strom has spent her professional career as an astronomer. Born in 1941 in Fairfax, OK, she grew up in Henryetta, OK and graduated from Harvard College in 1964. She has worked at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, the State University of New York at Stony Brook, Kitt Peak National Observatory and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Karen received an honorary Ph.D. in Astronomy in 1986 from Instituto Nacional de AstrofÃsica, Ã“ptica y ElectrÃ³nica (INAOE) in Puebla, Mexico for her 40 years of research into star formation. Karen began photographing in 1978. She studied both the history of photography and silver and non- silver photography in studio courses with Todd Walker at the University of Arizona. Her work has been exhibited widely throughout the United States and is held in several permanent collections. Recently she evaluated the new tools available and decided that she might finally be able to achieve the images that she had wanted to when she first began to seriously photograph in 1978. The images here are the result of that exploration.