Between Two Worlds – a fabulous exhibition

The wonderful work of M.C. Escher 

I never got a pass mark in math… Just imagine – mathematicians now use my prints to illustrate their books. Funny me consorting with all these learned folks, as though I were their long lost brother. I guess they are unaware of the fact that I am ignorant about the whole thing.

MC Escher

Maths as Art

Being married to the Mathematician, I’ve always known a lot about M C Escher. We had books, posters, jigsaw puzzles and examples of his work everywhere in the house!  When I was studying literacy and numeracy teaching, I even used his work as part of an assignment.

So when visiting my sister and brother-in-law in Melbourne, and needing a distraction, we went along to the Between Two Worlds exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria.  The interactive and immersive display was so interesting and fascinating, I will have to return with the Mathematician in tow, before it ends on 7 April 2019.

Here are a few of my photos from the exhibition to tempt you.

Oki Sato, designer and nendo

Oki Sato is the designer and nendo the design studio from Tokyo, and together they have introduced the concept of houses to the display.  Here is a quote which explains the display – it’s from the very interesting NGV website:

Nendo has created an immersive exhibition experience from specially created architectural, spatial and design elements. For the exhibition, nendo has devised the minimalist form of a house as the fundamental module of the design. This iconic form is a readily understood symbol of space that appears throughout the exhibition in different forms, enabling visitors to experience Escher’s ideas in a physical way.

These were fabulous and very clever displays which drew the eye and created a sort of optical illusion which fitted perfectly with Escher’s work.

One of the most fascinating item was a huge ‘chandelier’ suspended from the roof of a circular room, made up of over 50000 small house shapes some painted white and some painted black.  From one side of the room the chandelier shows a white house outline and from the other side it seems like it’s a black house.  I tried to capture them but my photos don’t do any justice to the amazing design.

From the guide – NGV presents Escher X nendo Between Two Worlds.  This summer blockbuster exhibition is a visionary and immersive experience that seamlessly presents the worlds of both Escher and nendo.  Escher’s unique artistic vision is traced through over 150 prints and drawings, from the world’s largest public collection of Escher’s work in the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague, presented within a groundbreaking exhibition environment by acclaimed Japanese design studio, nendo.

I highly recommend getting the audiovisual guide which tells so much of the story of Escher and Nendo’s work as you walk around.

All in all, it was a very interesting and engaging exhibition.  The crowds weren’t too bad but quite slow moving. I found the audio guide well worth the extra dollars because the type was quite small on the information boards and everyone seemed to be crowding around trying to read them. It was also quite a minimal environment,  in black and whites and so the low lighting didn’t help! Having the audio guide meant I could listen to the information instead of trying to fumble for my glasses and read the signs!  How old do I sound????  Also the information on the guide was more fulsome and wide ranging.

The exhibition cost $28 to enter and the audio guide was an extra $8 – we spent about and hour and a half wandering around at our own pace and we could have stayed longer. I thoroughly enjoyed the immersive and engaging exhibition and saw many more Escher works and learnt even more about him.  Always good to learn new things!

I love this quote from Escher:

Hands, are the most honest part of the human body, they cannot lie as laughing eyes and the mouth can.

I always enjoy hearing from you so don’t be shy – tell me what you think of these artworks.

Deb xx

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43 Replies to “Between Two Worlds – a fabulous exhibition”

  1. Deb, a fun distraction for you all. I love his art. I brought some cards from a local art gallery in Leeuwarden who was exhibiting his work.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I wonder what Escher sees in hands. I like that quote a lot and I like the combination of math and art. Isn’t that the way of life–combining things that don’t seem to mix but really do. Now you’ve got me thinking about my hands and what they say about me…

    Liked by 2 people

      1. My son’s hands and how he splayed them on a piano keys, how sensitive his fingers seemed to be poised over the ivory, remind me of Escher’s comment. Watching Jackson’s hands at six years old convinced me he’d love piano. Three years later he find joy in it. He’s not a maestro, but he’s suited to the practice and enjoys building the skill.
        Anyway–the quote made me think of that moment when I noticed his hands–it’s an interesting thought.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Deb, I have always loved the work of Escher, going way back to my psychedelic college youth of the early 70s. And, as I taught math (as well as your husband) tessellations were always part of how I taught geometry. They are just so cool…and Escher’s early work are great examples. The later stuff gets just plain mind-bending.
    What a great exhibit! Wish I were there!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Such an interesting post, Deb! Have you (or has your husband) read A Mathematician’s Lament? It’s a great book that discusses the need to teach mathematics with the use of art and imagery – not at all the way that it’s taught in public schools. Your post made me think of this book. 🙂 Really enjoyed the art pieces!

    Liked by 2 people

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