Rashmi Sunder-Raj

Mathematical Artist

Math lured me in early, it felt pure to be able to chose one's axioms and proceed. I had a need to understand from first principles rather than memorize the methods of others, resulting in "hard" things being fun and easy and "easy" things hard. This carries over into my creating. My pleasure is derived from generating ideas, experimenting, finding non-standard materials and creating tools rather than applying preexisting methods.

My sense of aesthetics pushes me to imbue my work with as many layers of meaning as I can manage. Ideally, I would incorporate music, poetry and a bit of science with visual art, cross-connect the ideas, and turn them into a teaching tool and/or play equipment. Predictably, most of my works remain "in progress"

Sun Burn
30 x 30 cm
Digital Print
2018

"Sun Burn" consists of a stylized sun surrounded by a corona of woven flames. The pattern is formed from 10 overlapping rings of pentagonal weaving tiles.

I have always been fascinated with the ways in which pentagons fit together, as well as had a tendency to draw weaves and braids. Recently, I have been using graphics programs to aid in bringing these things together.

I found that by creating tiles with partial weaving patterns I could explore larger patterns fairly easily. I ended up with a way to make weaving tiles using various numbers of strands, as well as a crude method for multiplying strands.

I have put these tiles to use in creating 2D pieces such as "Star Light" and "Sun Burn", as well as in making 3D objects.

Icosahedral Leaves
30 x 30 cm
Digital Print
2018

This is an image of a 3D structure that I built in a modelling app. The basic shape is that of an icosahedron, but each "face" consists of both an equilateral triangle, and equally-spaced concentric rings whose outermost circle circumscribes the triangle. The texture evident in the image is due to my use of rings made up of 360 parts rather than true circles. Reduced to 2 dimensions, the eye is free to interpret the image in various ways, many seemingly unrelated to their icosahedral origin.