Maths in Art

This resource from Cre8ate maths investigates the maths found in work by two artists. Both activities have an accessible starting point and both can be extended to provide a real challenge.

An artistic puzzle uses a sculpture by Sol LeWitt entitled ‘123454321’ which is in the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and challenges students to calculate the number of blocks in different aspects of the sculpture.

Peter Lowe’s work forms the basis for Squares and rectangles. Statements from the author set out the puzzle which is based on the triangle numbers. There is a helpsheet which gives a visual image of the formula for the triangle numbers and a spreadsheet, which is designed to be used in a whole class discussion, provides a template for generating square and triangle numbers for students to compare.

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We have been doing an art topic on using maths in art this term, Mondrian, Escher etc but this provided ideas for a different element of art by looking at a sculpture. I have seen this structure at the Yorkshire sculpture park and admittedly walked past it pretty quickly, however, next time I go I'll definately have a closer look and bore my family with all the maths of it!!