Stephen M Campbell

Clark Art Ltd
Manchester, UK

Networks and non-euclidean geometry were the ‘gate way drugs’ for me to plunge into Mathematics. My paintings have always come about from wondering ‘what will happen if I apply this method?’ or ‘how can I make sense of this?’ In this way I use Mathematics as a frame work for approaching a subject or as a tool to solve a problem, such as “what would this look like through the back of my head?”, “what if the surface of my eye was bigger than the thing I am looking at?”
Being relatively new to the world of Mathematics I have to say my Mathematical tool box is rather meagre, but the more I learn the more I find myself asking “what would this look like?”

Prime numbers and cylinders
Prime numbers and cylinders
91 x 61 x 3 cm
Oil on canvas

This painting is of some cylinders near my studio on a sunny day at the end of winter. I felt that a simple representation of the sky wouldn’t capture the feeling of light being filtered through a layer of pollution, so I used the sieve of eratosthenes as a method of scattering different colours through the painting. I used a narrow spectrum of pigments and ascribed different tones to the first 100 prime numbers, and painted every square that had a factor of that number. I used a sort of honeycomb grid so that the horizontal rows had an alternating number of squares and I could avoid vertical lines of one colour.