Flora Olivier

Academic & Admin Assistant
Govan Mbeki Mathematics Development Center (GMMDC), Nelson Mandela University
Port Elizabeth, South Africa

In 2018 I had the opportunity to attend my first Bridges Conference in Stockholm. The levels of creativity and richness of the connections between mathematics and art that were on display by artists from all over the world were overwhelming. My background is Electrical Engineering and I am also an enthusiastic amateur artist. My current work in the Govan Mbeki Mathematics Development Center at the Nelson Mandela University brings me in regular contact with geometric shapes and its powerful potential as a tool for introducing creativity in design and problem solving.

Pisces Geometricus
Pisces Geometricus
45 x 52 x 2 cm
Acrylic, Gel Pen, Ink Liner, Pro-marker

My artwork is a result of my passionate love for fine art that is linked to geometric shapes and vibrant colors. In this work I set myself the challenge of using only a compass and a ruler to construct a shape of a fish. It was real fun to find creative ways to deal with the limited degrees of freedom afforded by the two basic construction tools. In addition, the natural shape needed to look realistic with aesthetically pleasing qualities! I used a compass to draw a series of arcs to create the body, head and scales of the fish. A subsequent series of tangents to circles were used to construct the fish’s fins and a tail. The above approach fits well to demonstrate interesting links between mathematics and art.