Beauty, form and filth

The Nanyang Technological University offers the course ‘Beauty, Form & Function: An Exploration of Symmetry’ that I started recently online. And I am more and more amazed by everyday objects that now may look very different because of the most interesting patterns and repeating motives.

You wouldn’t believe the objects you can find in and around the house with interesting patterns as for instance the fabric of my sleeping bag. Then there are the motives on shirts and logos on books. Mirror lines (reflection), rotation points and repeating tiles pop up in every single room of the house. While of course those were there all along. The first fine artist that comes to mind is naturally Escher. In this course I also learned about chiral objects such as hands and feet. That are objects that work as a pair and can reflect each other, but are not superimposed or something like that. To be honest… that part I am only pretending to understand. It has a bit of the allure of rocket science to it.
I had this pomegranate, not a fruit that I eat regularly – but healthy and fascinating to look at. Each of these pink reddish fruits can contain up to 600 seeds. There are six compartments inside and the thin membranes reveal the hexagonal, honeycomb shapes of the seeds which are the size of a corn grain.
Unfortunately, when working to get those – almost bursting with vitamin C and K – seeds, things might turn out a little nasty. There are plenty tutorials online to explain this, but even before I could count to a hundred shiny red objects to add to my bowl of yogurt it looked as if I was part of a ritual killing. Soon the kitchen resembled some slaughter house, and I was up to my elbows in some sticky red liquid.

It took me over fifteen minutes to get this pomegranate done. After that the tiles – boring, mono colored ones, counter and coffee machine were covered in red dots and drips. There were no interesting shapes or patterns to find out about, it was all a gigantic bloody mess. Asymmetrical.

For more information about Maurits Cornelis Escher click here.
And for more information about online courses, check out Coursera.

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