Louise Mabbs

Textile artist/teacher/author/commissions/artist in residencies
Self employed artist
Hove, Brighton UK
I’m a textile artist specialising in quilts /embroidery but increasingly making sculptural pieces consciously pushing the boundaries in my field.

I only did O'level maths at school, having lost the plot somewhere after quadratic equations, but a request in 1986 to enter a 'Mathematical Magic' exhibition set me off remembering the pattern making side of the modern maths I’d learnt. I began working on a number-colouring system and got fascinated by how numbers related to one another.

I had worked through my system from square grids, to perspectives, to circular grids, when in I met John Sharp in 1999. He recognised the maths patterns in my work & has enabled me to put names to shapes and develop grids for the shapes I imagined.

I now avidly read maths books & people think I'm wierd! So part of my mission in schools & women's classes is to make maths accessible to the general public. I love it how maths underpins everything & I want to pass that passion on to others!
Borromean Rings 3 (pur/gre/tur)
c 12" x 12", 300 x 300mm
Cotton fabrics and thread, polyester inner
2007
Third in a series of 3 dimensional textile sculptures, which show 2D line drawings as the objects they really represent. In the hope that non-mathematicians would understand them.

Borromean Rings are three rings (zero knots) joined in such a way that each ring goes through both the others and if one was broken the whole pieces falls apart. One ring goes round the outside of another, the third ring goes outside the outer ring but inside the inner one, so they hold together.

I normally work in a very graphic, solid colour way, but I challenged myself to be more creative by using my 'left over' project scraps.

One ring has a straight 'seam', another a spiral & the other a waving line. The ring ratio (1:4.5) is about right for me.
Trinity/Trefoil Knot
c 12" x 12", 300 x 300mm
Cotton fabrics and thread, polyester inner
2007
This is an elegant pointed Trinity knot drawn with a rounded Trefoil knot as a 2D image. Making it up was very complicated & I had no idea it would become a pyramid like this. The length of the tube is a bit short for the structure's needs - but this is a very difficult thing to guage.

Plain colours are made with the seams on the outside for extra interest in a very long rainbow sequence. I'd like to tackle some other double knots because it's not always easy to imagine what the finished structure will be like and I'm sure there are lots of surprises in store for me!
Borromean Rings 4 (Rainbow)
c 12" x 12", 300 x 300mm
Cotton fabrics and thread, polyester inner
2007
Fourth of my Borromean Ring series, in my typical trademark rainbow colours and smooth edges. The rings are longer in this sculpture (ratio about 1: 5.25) so the rings have ended up being more oval in shape & less pleasing to the eye.

Originally a pagan symbol, early Christians appropriated Borromean RIngs as a sign of the Trinity - Father, Son & Holy Spirit. It is about the best image I have found for representing 1 deity in 3 personalities. This is normally seen as a 2D shape where three circles appear to sit on top of each other spaced in a triangular fashion, frequenlty used on business logos by people who hav eno idea what they represent!