Karen Amanda Harris

Language Development Tutor
University of the Arts London
London, UK

Mathematics, for me, is a spiritual practice. To engage in mathematical study is to travel into strange and mystical lands, to explore the very fabric of reality and illusion, and to uncover secrets which hold even deeper secrets within them.

When I set to work with an HB pencil, ruler and compasses, it is in a spirit of both discipline and playfulness. The connection of lines and circles on the paper can suddenly lead to three-dimensionality, or an unexpected glimpse into infinity. These images are given life with richly toned markers, gel pens and ink liners. I choose colours with the same combination of artistic freedom and mathematical precision that I use for the initial outline - creating an intricate and glimmering world.

Broken Sphere
Broken Sphere
30 x 42 cm
Promarker, gel pen, ink liner, nail varnish and correction fluid on watercolour paper

I started with a circle, and played with it. I was curious to know what would happen if I connected point to point to point to point to point ... and so on. This finally transformed into a sphere, containing multitudinous triangles, quadrilaterals and arrows. And then I wondered: what if I extend the lines further, and turn the sphere into a planet, caught in a network of golden threads, glittering in space?

The "brokenness" of the sphere, with the fragments flying outwards, brings movement to the image. If it had remained whole, with every section neatly coloured and no shards, it would have been static and lifeless.

The viewer is left to ponder what lies outside the boundaries. Where does the golden net finish - and how?