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Art + Maths x Collaboration = ?

The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum is hosting a seminar on Tuesday 17 November, 4.00-5.30pm, with visual artist Lesley Whelan and Warwick University Mathematician Adam Boddison to look back on their collaboration Equate. This seminar is open to artists, students and anyone interested in the interplay between fine art and other disciplines.

Warwick Mathematician Adam Boddison has been working with local artist Lesley Whelan on a project which explores the representations of art and maths within a park setting.

The Equate project, funded by the Arts Council England, considers artistic representations of mathematics that can be found in the Coventry War Memorial Park. 

Over the past few years Adam has worked with schools across the country on creative mathematical projects, primarily through Creative Partnerships, and more recently through his appointment as the West Midlands Area Coordinator for the Further Mathematics Support Programme in the Maths Institute at Warwick.

Adam’s work on the Equate project follows on from his earlier work on the role of the park in the community. In 2006, Adam and Annunziata Videtta secured a grant from the University’s Lord Rootes Memorial Fund, which allowed them to research the role of the park in the community at both Birkenhead Park in Wirral and Central Park in New York.  This project exploited the relatively unknown connection between the parks, which is that Frederick Olmstead based his design of Central Park on Joseph Paxton’s design of Birkenhead Park.  Adam and Annunziata’s report was in the form of a website and this can be viewed at www.lordrootes.webeden.co.uk

Coventry visual artist Lesley Whelan is currently researching the War Memorial Park, working in different sections and studying various elements such as leaf shape, tree formation and geometrical similarities.

She said: “My vision is to use the data collected from the park to produce a number of small pieces of work that will map out the park mathematically. These pieces will hopefully be displayed in the Herbert Art Gallery and one or two may be displayed in the Park in the future, so that the potential to learn and communicate through the different disciplines can be appreciated. It is also hoped that with help from volunteers and the Friends of the Park a leaflet can be produced to enable park visitors to understand my work and to view for themselves the inspiration behind the pieces."

Lesley Whelan is a Midlands based visual artist who studied art in Birmingham and now works from a studio in Coventry. Lesley's focus on plants led to her being awarded Artist in Residence at Winterbourne Botanic Garden at Birmingham University in 2003. Through Equate Lesley sought a further challenge, exploring how different mathematical concepts could develop her artist practice.

This seminar will explore questions about collaborative practice, the nature of expertise and the creative process.

To book a place at the seminar, contact Jack Shuttleworth at jack.shuttleworth@theherbert.org or on 024 7629 4752. The event is free and open to all. Refreshments will be provided.