Beauty is the First Test

12 September 2012- 25 November 2012

Michael Brennand-Wood, Suresh Dutt, Janice Gunner, Lesley Halliwell, Lucy McMullen, Janette Matthews, Peter Randall Page, Ann Sutton, Laura Thomas

A group exhibition that will explore how mathematical concepts underpin craft techniques and artistic development, in an attempt to demystify a subject that intimidates both adults and children, by showing unique and stimulating works of art. ‘Beauty is the First Test’ will draw together existing and new artworks to invite in-depth consideration of contemporary craft practice in this wider context. Beauty and playfulness will be evident in the exhibits to illustrate what delights craftspeople and maths geeks alike.

Leading US mathematician Keith Devlin’s recent publication ‘The Language of Mathematics’  describes maths as ‘the science of patterns’ , a description which hardly seems terrifying given that many patterns have pleasing and decorative elements. Yet mathematics is so often the subject that pupils most dread and adults express discomfort with, despite extensive 21st century use of technology based on mathematical models. Perhaps the friendliness of current technology has not only permitted but in fact acerbated this distance from a subject that frightens and overwhelms people. Beauty is the First Test will show that the arts and mathematics are more closely bound together than many perceive and that the enjoyment of one can enhance the understanding of the other.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a full programme of events for young and old alike. 

This exhibition is curated by Liz Cooper and has been supported by Arts Council England, and developed in partnership with Crafts Council , Wandsworth Children’s Services and The National Centre for Craft & Design. We would like to thank the volunteers and facilitators who are helping to make the participatory programme accompanying this exhibition possible.

Painting with patterns

Laura Thomas | 'Thee x five', image courtesy the artist.

Artwork with coloured flourecent circles

Lesley Halliwell | Work in progress, image courtesy the artist.

Black and white pattern

Janette Matthews | Optical Ellipse, image courtesy the artist.