Since January we have been delighted to have had Bella Lucchesi join us for a day a week as Nature in Art’s Curatorial Trainee. Bella is from the USA and is undertaking an MA in Curating at UWE, Bristol. As part of her course she has been working closely with Collections Officer Emily Cooper to assemble this display. It is based on the Fibonacci Sequence and the Golden Ratio; how it appears in nature, and in works of art (whether that be by chance or design) and exploring its suggested relationship to beauty. It follows on well from David Trapnell’s talk earlier in the year ‘Is Beauty in the eye of the beholder?’. Here Bella introduces the selection of works …
The Fibonacci sequence is a series of numbers, starting from 0 where every number is the sum of the two numbers preceding it. The Golden Ratio is a number that’s equal to approximately 1.618. This number, often known as “phi” from the Greek alphabet, is in fact not equal to precisely 1.618 because it is an irrational number – meaning that its decimal digits carry on forever without repeating a pattern.
Although these are separate terms, coincidentally they closely relate to each other in many ways. If one takes any two successive Fibonacci numbers, their ratio is very close to the Golden ratio. As the numbers get higher, the ratio becomes even closer to 1.618. For example, the ratio of 3 to 5 is 1.666. But the ratio of 13 to 21 is 1.625. Getting even higher, the ratio of 144 to 233 is 1.618. These numbers are all successive numbers in the Fibonacci sequence. These numbers can also be applied to the proportions of a rectangle, called the Golden rectangle. This is thought as one of the most visually satisfying geometric forms and has been applied in numerous creative disciplines for centuries.
These concepts appear frequently in art compositions as well as in nature, whether that is in the florets of a sunflower, pine cone seeds or sea shells. This exhibition will investigate these terms in relation to nature and art and hopefully act as a starting point for visitors own explorations into art and nature. Most of the paintings, prints and 3D items have been selected from our collection but there are also a number of items on loan from artists and Gallery Pangolin, to whom we express our thanks.
Even if the Fibonacci numbers and Golden Ratio seem daunting to you, there’s much to inspire and set the mind thinking in this selection. Come and see!