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Mathematics and Art – Symmetry (Translations)

17 February, 2014

I only just realised I hadn’t yet posted about this art activity we completed a few weeks back.

We started off with the artwork Rabbit Round Up into an Old Mine Shaft.

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The rabbits in the original painting were not perfectly identical but they were all in the same position and any variances were more human “error” than any wish to differentiate one from the other.

This artwork was a two-step process (well two week process anyhow). The first week we created our animal outline stamps and painted the backgrounds.

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The second week we added our “plague” of animals across our background and discussed slide or translational symmetry.

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Funnily enough, I never learnt about any sort of symmetry at school except for the “butterfly” type symmetry – known as flip or reflectional symmetry. It wasn’t until I read a book on mathematics some years ago (and the name of the book escapes me) that I realised that there were other types of symmetry.

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