Math-art display taking shape in herbs, spices

Sculptor Stephen Watson started creating a unique work of art and math Wednesday. He sprinkled herbs and spices on pentagon-shaped pieces of Plexiglas and arranged them in the pattern discovered by University of Washington Bothell mathematicians.

They’re forming a 6-foot mosaic or mandala that’s both a visual and aromatic experience.
Watson is an assistant professor of art at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, known for creating temporary, sensory works of art using herbs and spices. He’s using curry, paprika, chilies, rosemary, sage, oregano, cinnamon and onion powder.

The pentagon design recognizes the mathematical discovery last year by Jennifer McLoud-Mann, Casey Man and undergraduate researcher David Von Derau of the 15th way to interlock identically shaped pentagons.

Watson plans to finish “spicing” in time for a School of STEM exhibition from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday at the Discovery Hall fourth floor vista where he’ll give a talk about the intersection of mathematics and visual art.

(Photos by Marc Studer)