The University of Newcastle, Australia

Crocheting maths and music into fibre art

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Suspended six metres in the air and intertwining more than three kilometres of rope, University of Newcastle’s Fine Art student Louisa Magrics’ crochet-based installation, Hyperweb, will take a starring role at Vivid this week - the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas.

Hyperweb installation
Hyperweb. Lighting design by Jenna Blayden and photography by Louisa Magrics.

Crocheted entirely by hand, Louisa explains the web-like structure uniquely illustrates the interconnected relationships between mathematical patterns, shapes and musical concepts.

Louisa said it was her musical background and experience as a drummer that inspired her fibre art creation.

“The web component was designed using number sequences which underlie rhythm.  The sequences were embedded into crochet to create geometric patterns and transformed into a three dimensional netted tensile structure,” Louisa said.

Assembled in collaboration with Sydney lighting designer Calum Young, International multimedia artist Stephen Haynes and Sydney-based sound collective, bitzPink, the installation is accompanied by site-responsive sound and lighting.

“The variables of wind, humidity, temperature and movement will cue a change in the ambient soundscape and lighting – essentially Mother Earth will DJ,” Louisa said.

The installation is an outcome of Louisa’s Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis research at the University of Newcastle which explores dual solids and patterns in fabric material.

Louisa explains modelling using fibre art is a relatively fertile area and applicable across a number of fields to represent concepts in a physical form.

“I am eager to showcase crocheting as a medium for modelling on small and large scale in fields from mathematics and architecture to fashion and music,” Louisa said.

Head of School for the School of Creative Industries at the University of Newcastle, Professor Paul Egglestone, said contemporary creative practice in areas we traditionally think of as fine art is continually challenging our understanding and appreciation of what makes art ‘art’.

“New ways of thinking, increased collaboration and the bringing together of art, science, engineering and technology to make different types of work is at the core of what the School of Creative Industries at the University of Newcastle is about.

“It’s truly satisfying to see all these qualities embodied in Louisa’s work and equally great to see her piece on an international platform as huge and amazing as Vivid,” Professor Egglestone said.

University of Newcastle will host a series of short “taster” sessions at the Sydney campus as part of the Vivid Ideas program.  The workshops are open to all members of the public who are interested in learning about the application of virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality across a range of markets.

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Hyperweb will be featured in the Royal Botanical Gardens, Sydney from 25 May until 16 June as part of the Vivid Light Walk program.

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