Technical Notice: The small view has some compression artifacts; I strongly recommend you view it in full (900x900) or downloaded (2000x2000).
The immediate inspiration for this piece comes recently watching Avatar: The Last Airbender
. I wanted to create an original piece that captured what I thought was the most exciting aspect of that world: that individual, but equal and opposite forces can combine to form a a unified whole. This is represented by the four equal subdivisions unified into a circle.
Duality is a concept that appeals to me (and I think everyone) greatly. Forces in balance create things that are greater than either alone. The ultimate example of this in physics is that of stars: the inward gravity of the stellar gas is exactly balanced by the force of the nuclear reaction at the core to produce some of the most magnificent objects in the known universe.
In addition to the unification of opposites present in the work as a whole, each of the panels has a different pattern of symmetry. The fire panel exhibits flip symmetry, the air panel reflects six-fold radial symmetry, the water panel showing pure radial symmetry and the earth panel depicting fractal (scale) symmetry [The Moon orbits the Earth just as the Earth orbits the Sun].
I created this work primarily using GIMP, but some elements were generated with the use of Paint.NET or custom programs that I wrote.