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.

Infinite Corridor
Infinite Corridor
30 x 42 cm
Promarker, gel pen and ink liner on watercolour paper

It began as two circles meeting in a bubble, each with carefully spaced vertical lines. These lines were then connected horizontally - and suddenly there was a corridor, extending forever. Intense blue shades shift to pale grey as they head to the unknown.

The trippy feel is heightened by mathematical instruments -set squares and protractors- falling into the corridor, as if sucked into a vacuum, a vortex, or an irresistible gravitational field.

Finally, there is disparity between our perception and what is really there. The set squares seem disproportionately huge - but only in relation to the corridor. And the initial impression is a chaotic mix of shapes; a closer look reveals the presence of ordered pattern and symmetry.