Sharol Nau is a Northfield artist who is obsessed with mathematics. She is NOT a mathematician, but attended a math and art conference on a whim and found the confluence of art and mathematics fascinating. Her work can be seen in the windows and in the gallery during Reader's Art 12.
My artwork develops from doing. Inspiration may arise from a location, a sheet of good rag paper, a block of Styrofoam, a stack of books or more. I begin by experimenting with materials until ideas and techniques come together. Progress demonstrates adjustments along the way but I know when it is finished because it is successfully filled with my visual ideas.
My first attempts at creating small sculptures by folding the pages of recycled books were experimental. Mathematics came into play only after I had folded a set of encyclopedias. Being material conscious, I switched to novels constructed of higher quality paper with deckled edges. The performance of waves from the resulting series of folds is beautiful as I use variations on a classical math problem, the so-called Paper Creasing Problem. More recently the waves are popping up due to parabolic curves. Each page is folded to a common point, the focus, with the edge serving as the straight line. Thus the collection of folds forms an arch-curve. Abounding waves emanate as the book is opened and spread out. I am discovering more waves as I delve into the problem of creating works that represent a perfect shuffle, as in playing cards. In mathematics a perfect shuffle is when a set of cards is divided into two equal piles and shuffled to interleave them perfectly.