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Byron Shire
June 20, 2024

The art of mathematics

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 Frank Murri, The Prime Ingredient in a Big Piece of Pi (π) - Panel # 43 (12,288 - 12,586 digits) 2017, timber, acrylic and ink on board, 94x58cm, ©Frank Murri, 2017.
Frank Murri, The Prime Ingredient in a Big Piece of Pi (π) – Panel # 43 (12,288 – 12,586 digits) 2017, timber, acrylic and ink on board, 94x58cm, ©Frank Murri, 2017.

Mathematics and art share a long historical relationship. Philosopher and mathematician Bertrand Russell encapsulated the synergy between the two disciplines, stating: ‘Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty — a beauty cold and austere, like that of sculpture’.

From 24 November to 22 April 2018 Newcastle-based artist Frank Murri integrates art and math in his exhibition The Prime Ingredient in a Big Piece of Pi (π), featuring at Tweed Regional Gallery.

In his ambitious exhibition, Murri has encoded and carved 31 timber relief sculptural panels with the first 9014 digits of the Pi number (an irrational number with no end or repeating pattern). Within this sequence, the artist has highlighted the first four single digit prime numbers using primary colours, in an exploration of the aesthetic in number theory.

Murri said: ‘By looking into the realm of pure mathematics, there lies within a beauty which transcends its usual form. The pieces I’ve created are formulated to capture this beauty.’

The Prime Ingredient in a Big Piece of Pi (π) will officially open at Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre on Friday 24 November at 6pm (NSW time).

On Sunday 10 December at noon to 2pm, Frank Murri will facilitate a fun, engaging free drop-in activity for children aged 3 years and over. Working with paper and pens, LEGO® bricks, or a drawing app on smartphones, children will explore how probability can shape an artwork with repeated throws of a dice.  

For further information, visit here or phone the Gallery on (02) 6670 2790.

Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre is open Wednesday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm

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