Susan Happersett

Artist
Beacon, NY
After completing graduate degrees in Mathematics, as well as in the Arts, and working as a math teacher for an number of years, I have now been a full-time artist for 20 years. My work is widely collected by leading museums and universities around the world. In my art, I explore the aesthetic qualities of mathematics through sequences, series and, now, mapping. I express my ideas in drawings, paintings, artist's books, and videos. Recurring themes in my work are the Fibonacci Sequence, Chaos Theory, the Cartesian Coordinate System, the Cantor Set, Self Similarity and Fractals. Crucial to me is that all my work is hand-drawn: I design the algorithm and then I execute it by hand. I am the computer.
Bijective Cartesian Lace
28 x 36 cm
Ink on paper, framed
2017
This new type of drawing began with the Cartesian Coordinate System’s 2-dimensional plane. I plotted sets of points on both axes bounding quadrant I. Then I mapped points on the x-axis to points on the y-axis in a bijective mapping. Next, I repeated this process for the other three quadrants. Taking advantage of the third or z-axis of the Cartesian Coordinate System, I then projected a 3-D image onto the 2-D plane of the paper. I decided to take this process one step further and included a fourth axis to present a visual, poetic metaphor for the 4th dimension. For this drawing, the x-axis is 50% longer than the other three axes. The repeating patterns in the grid formation overlap, thus creating intricate lace patterns.