Prime Marks

Featured in American Scientist article - Ode to Prime Numbers
by Sarah Glaz professor of mathematics at the University of Connecticut

Prime Marks 2010

  Prime Marks 2010
  Acrylic, crayon, tissue and plaster
  on 72 15x15 cm canvases

A few years ago I produced a painting named after the ancient Greek mathematician Eratosthenes who worked with prime numbers. It is structured as a grid of coloured rectangles based on the prime number series. I've developed this idea into a series of artworks which show further patterning potential using prime factors

Prime Marks has 72 canvases showing numbers from 1 to 72. This arrangement has eight rows of nine numbers. The top row shows 1 to 9, the second row 10 to 18 and so on up to 72.

Each number is depicted using symbols and each single symbol represents a prime number. A non-prime number is represented by a combination of symbols showing its prime factors.

For example, 2 and 3 which are primes are represented by a yellow chevron and a red triangle respectively. The non-prime 6 is represented by its prime factors 2 and 3 (2×3=6) shown as a yellow chevron and a red triangle. All 72 numbers are derived in the same way.

This arrangement in a 9x8 block show how the prime and factored numbers repeat and make patterns. The canvases can also be arranged in other ways (e.g. 6x12, 7x10, 18x4) each time exposing different patterns and relationships.

prime letters

Prime Letters 2013 - Buy original digital print
available from Link to Saatchi Online