art and math

I’d like to be honest with you. Normally, I would cringe at discussing anything mathematical. I know, but bear with me. This time, I want to show you something awesome, even to those of you who aren’t the biggest fan of numbers, like me. This time, it’s not just about learning about equations in the classroom. This time, art and math work together to produce stunning results.

Now even I find that interesting. (You’d just have to know me.) Math may seem, to most of you, to be a pursuit of formulas, but math also produces ratios that create the most striking works of art.

There are seven instances that art and math worked together to break left/right brain scenarios.

1. Snow Art

art and math snow art

How do you create art with mathematics? The epic snowscapes in the European Alps, created by Simon Beck, is a prime example of exquisite mathematical art. Using only his compass and snowshoes, Beck created a Koch Snowflake and Sierpinkski Triangle in 11 hours flat. Wow!

Beck told Alex Bellows of the Guardian in 2014,

You follow simple rules. There is no need for a diagram.”

2. Intricate Illustrations

art and math computer illustrations

Mathematical art is intricate work. Computer generated illustrations by Iranian artist Hamid Naderi Yeganeh are created by the thousands in this aspect. After a while, the illustrations start to look like objects and animals in day-to-day life. They are simply beautiful in their delicate lines and precise shapes.

Yeganeh says,

“I change the formulae to find better shapes. I found the boat and animals accidentally.”

3. Fractals

art and math fractals

Liz Blankenship and Daniel Ashlock created a taxonomy of fractals complete with illustrations. There are many types of fractals, which even those who love them might now know about. The L-system fractals, for example, look more like plants than diagrams. While these fractals may seem more complicated, they are still made up of repeating patterns-angles A and B / distances C and D.

4. Faberge Fractals

art and math faberge

In order to show his appreciation of the fractal pattern, UK physicist Tom Beddard created 3D fractal Fabergé eggs. Combining art and math, curves and swirls never looked more intricate and detailed!

Beddard told My Modern Met,

“The 3D fractals are made when one iteration stops and the output beings the next iteration.”

5. Isometric Embedding

art and math isometric embedding

A Beautiful Mind mathematician, John Nash, along with Nicolaas Kuiper tells us the whole world can be contained in a grain of sand. This may be a little difficult to understand, but there’s a sound reasoning here. If you were to shrink the surface of a tennis ball to a nanometer radius and then ripple the surface (just slightly, that is – no folds allowed), then you could still have an isometric copy of the tennis ball. A team of scientists in the Hevae project used a computer construction to demonstrate how this would look.

6. Mathematical Art by Kerry Mitchell

art and math kerry mitchell

In 2012, NASA engineer Kerry Mitchell celebrated the Curiosity rover landing on Mars by making art and math work together. Using fractals and algorithms, Mitchell brought us something much more than just a painting.

Mitchell writes,

“This is dynamics of formula under repeated iteration.”

7. Mathematical 3D Models

art and math 3d models

To help his students understand the language of math, Henry Segerman, Australian mathematician, creates 3D models. Segerman stresses the point that mathematical classes hardly ever go beyond exercises. While languages in English class are used to create stories.

“Mathematical language is also less accessible than the language of art, but I can translate from one to the other. I can create a sculpture that shares a mathematical idea!”

I just said to myself, “Now see, that wasn’t so hard to understand, now was it?” Math may not be my favourite subject, but now I see it much differently. Math is beautiful, yeah, I said it, and at times, just darn breathtaking. Before you judge something you may not understand, try to learn its language.

All things have a voice, and with that voice, a remarkable discovery of beauty. Enjoy!

H/T Science Alert

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Sherrie is a freelance writer and artist with over 10 years of experience. She spends most of her time giving life to the renegade thoughts. As the words erupt and form new life, she knows that she is yet again free from the nagging persistence of her muse. She is a mother of three and a lifetime fan of the thought-provoking and questionable aspects of the universe.