OLYMPIC TORCH LIGHTING CEREMONY COSTUMES | MATHEMATICS AS CORE DESIGN CONCEPT

February 12, 2016

Mathematics at the heart of art truly inspired by Classical Greece

 

Ever since the Renaissance, art and design inspired by Classical Greece in true spirit always comes across the same fundamental notion: The belief that mathematics is the secret to beauty. This is relevant because this seems to always underline my work without me being conscious of it and it certainly has underlined this project. Mathematics as a design concept, again, cannot be ignored. Proportioning and geometry are inherent focal points in the work. Sound proportioning is the hallmark of Classical Greek design and as an influencing concept became an obsession for Leonardo da Vinci. Without the eloquent Greek proportions in the innate DNA of the work (that is taking inspiration) there is no root from Classical Greece. Geometric design can be seen in the clear lines of the pleats and the lower band designed in Chiton III and also on another scale in the perforated square detailing of the leather belts.

 

Proportion and Geometry as root concepts:

 

Seen in dress, harness and detail designs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Geometry cannot be ignored in Classical art, and yet movement and fluidity is innate to Greek art too. So in this spirit where geometry and fluidity interact, my aim was to recreate the sense of rhythm that is explicit in Greek art. What is more mathematical than rhythm? Whether a play on visual or acoustic proportions, it is about proportioning. Thus it could be said, that the whole project, not just the costumes, but the work of the composer and the choreographer too, have been faithful to mathematical coordination that was necessary for the accomplishment of the performance. The choreographer designs proportions in space in relation to the body and I design dress in proportion to the body, which both have to be synced to the design of sounds that echo, enhance and accentuate all these visual proportions. At the heart of these creative processes was the open and closed concept in the dress that meant everyone was designing with a dual-state concept in mind and the metamorphic state in between, the state of ‘opening’ and ‘closing’.

 

 

British Museum Collections:

 

Outstanding example of Classical Greek mastery of proportion, geometry, composition, detail, variation and rhythm.

 

 

The above vase inspired the 'open' and 'closed' state of the dresses and the idea that the differences in dress designs appear in motion, like that of a bird whose feathers are only fully revealed in 'open' state in motion. The Greek vase shows how the artist translated what he saw in nature into mathematical terms as he depicted the birds with geometric surface patterns. This can also be said about the dresses, where in order to create a man-made mechanism that works - 'opening' and 'closing', the wing structure in nature is translated into the mathematical structure of the pleat mechanism. Below in an example found in nature where in nature the mechanism is a fan of feathers.

 

            The Tauraco: 'closed' motionless and 'open' in flight

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