2023 International Women’s Day Tessellation

On the forefront this year for sure, #IWD2023, March 8th. Two fronts actually. Two shows in Victoria (Canada) and my dueling inspiration, a game of tag with Jason Panda on Instagram. The first instance, a show at the Victoria Arts Council, I wrote about in a previous post. A juried show with the IWD premise celebrated for the whole of March, workshops, talks, conversations, panel discussions and of course, the artwork. And a showing of four tessellations at the Eckankar Centre, two blocks away.

Jason Panda? We became aware of our common passion for tessellations, a few years back, on social media. He is an excellent tessellation artist and a Canadian too. Ya.

A few years back, when I was first learning how to navigate Instagram, I spotted the hashtag #tessellationtuesday. But the uptake was as low as my knowledge of IG. I stopped participating. But this year, something presented itself. Not really a duel, but a spur. I had posted three rabbit tessellations in honour of The Chinese and Japanese new year calendar. It seems Jason took this as a challenge to respond, to connect again. He created a wonderful Tortoise and the Rabbit tessellation (see kwpanda on Instagram). There’s a slideshow of these way below on this page.

Taking the turtle/tortoise topic for another ride, I created The Legend of Turtle Island tessellation. Jason took this notion a step back, into civilization history, and created the Atlas… Condemned with the Weight of the World tessellation. This is getting interesting.

So, in response, I first thought a planet obsessed Galileo tessellation. Or Sisyphus and his boulder issues. Or taken a step sideways, Milarepa and his incessant wall rebuilding. First thoughts are rarely good, and need to be set aside (like irons used for pressing ideas instead of printing presses!). Hmmm. The only problem here is that IWD is just around the corner. I need to do a tessellation about women, women in history, women in science, women in art. #STEAM and women, STEAM learning (Science Technology Engineering ART and Math)

Celebrating International Women’s Day 2023, I present to you, in tessellation form of course, my hero “Marjorie Rice and Her Tessellating Pentagon Discoveries”.

A little about Marjorie Rice. She was inspired to research tessellating pentagons after reading an article in Scientific American magazine, this, in the 70s. As in crystallography, there are limited ways in which pentagon shapes can be arranged to completely fill a surface. A challenge for her. She succeeded in discovering quite a few new pentagon tessellation methods that previous researchers had never figured out, they thought they had found them all.

I did attempt a few years back to understand the methods but got distracted very close to the end of my studies. Wrote a few blog posts on the topic. If you’re curious, use the search box and type in pentagon.

In the image gallery above, you can see four of my pentagon attempts, all reconstructions of Marjorie’s efforts. My tessellation this week shows Marjorie Rice sporting various tops with different patterns, her pentagons and her very own tessellations derived from her pentagon research, roses, hibiscus, fish, butterflies, bees in clover and seashells, also presented in that second image.

Cheers Marjorie, to your accomplishments in art and science, tessellations and geometry.

Below are the previous tessellations in this game of Inspirational Tag with Jason Panda:

Enough said. Lots of good articles on the web about Marjorie Rice.



P.s.; If you are interested in learning to draw tessellations, or need help in teaching tessellations to your students, check out my classes on Skillshare. Six classes about different symmetry methods, not only the Up/Down, Left/Right we learned in school, with scissors and cardboard. One month free if you use the above link.

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