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Hey kids, good art is why maths is important


Do you remember sitting in maths in high school and joking about how you'd never need to find the area of a farmer's field so what was the use of it all?... I do. I wasn't even bad at maths, I was good at it. But I remember wondering when I would ever use it all in "real life".

Well this morning I am mixing resin to finish off an artwork. The two part epoxy I bought is enough to cover 1 square metre in a 3:5 hardener to resin ratio, but I only need to cover a 20 x 25 x 4cm block and I want to mix exactly the right amount so the thickness is exactly right on my surface, and so I don't have any wastage (after all, good materials are expensive right!).

Of all the occupations where maths is useful on a daily basis, you might put Artist at the opposite end of the scale to Structural Engineer or Rocket Scientist, but truth be told - maths is everywhere. From quoting and keeping good business accounts, to calculating postage and figuring out how many metres of wire you'll need for that next public art commission, right down to more intuitive mathematical processes like creating a good composition: Maths is in art and artists need maths.

As for the resin - yes, I worked it out. The maths wasn't that hard once I figured out what I needed to calculate - but if that kind of problem makes your mind spin then maybe you should have paid more attention to fractions or percentage calculations in Year 9.

From Euclid to Da Vinci to Escher, maths and art have always been linked and each has made contributions to the advancement of the other. And its not even a bore! Maths and art are so exciting together! Did you hear last week's news about the new robotic tour guide at the Art Gallery of WA, she even runs kids workshops...! What a stimulating way to engage kids' creativity as well as getting them (and their parents) thinking about the limitless possibilities of art and maths through technology.

You might get along without it, but you're better off with it... so kids! Pay attention, you will use maths later, no matter which "real life" you choose.


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