My fascination with mathematics and my love of visual arts has led me on a journey to build a link between mathematics and drawing. It has become my mission to express the intrinsic aesthetic value of Mathematics in a purely visual language. I use a number of graphing and geometric plotting techniques to examine the aesthetic characteristics of functions, sequences and series in a visual language. My drawings are an intense accumulation of lines and mark making resulting from my predisposition to counting. These drawings have an inherent repetitiveness similar to knitting, weaving and lace making. Through the years my drawing has become a type of meditation.

One of my drawing methods involves the development of a hand made grids and a mapping process for each drawing. I decide on the proportions of the grid and then make a plan for the number of markings or strokes in each square.The inspiration for the actual markings came from ancient manuscripts written in the language Kufic. I deconstructed the placement of the strokes, eliminating any literal meaning. It is the number of strokes in each grid that holds significance. Another technique I use in my work is the repetition of self-similar forms through many iterations. By doing everything by hand there are slight imperfections that amplify and overlap, creating a sense of chaos.

Many of the mathematical sequences in my work involve growth patterns. One series of drawings is based on the correlation between plant growth and the Fibonacci Sequence (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, …). I have also incorporated binary code, explored self-similarity and chaos theory. Through these drawings I hope to reveal the grace and balance in the mathematics of nature and technology.

Susan Happersett

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