Tag Archives: Robin Wilson

Continuous Line Artist view of Haken’s Gordian Knot in “Unknot Hall of Fame”.

Peter Prevos, has included me in his “Unknot Hall of Fame”, within an article on his website about “The Art and Magic of the Trivial Knot”, which also explains many technical aspects of the trivial knot and how magicians have incorporated those ideas. There are designs, in the Hall of Fame, by Goeritz, Thistlewaite, Ochiai and Haken as well as art by Vanuatu and myself and reference to James Sienna. Have a look on – https://horizonofreason.com/science/unknot-gallery/

I had already done my painting when I saw a post on Mathoverflow website “Are there any very hard unknots?” by mathematician Timothy Gowers – https://mathoverflow.net/questions/53471/are-there-any=very-hard-unknots

I responded with posts on my website on in June 2015 and a later update in May 2018.

Noboru Ito, mathematician now at the of University of Tokyo, contacted me in February 2016 about his near completed book “Knot Projections” and my article is referenced in the Preface. “It was very helpful”.

Tomasz Mrowka, mathematician at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, asked in November 2017 for a copy of my painting, as “it’s really quite striking and would love to hang it in my office”.

David Eppstein, computer scientist and mathematician at university of California, Irvine, featured my painting on his website in November 2018 “Mick Burton, an artist known for drawings that use a single continuous line to create the impression of complex and naturalistic shapes, looks at knot theory, self-overlapping curves, and the visualization of Seifert surfaces.” I had to look in Noboru Ito’s book to check out Seifert surfaces !

In essence my painting of Haken’s Gordian Knot is another example of me finding a well known structure which I can apply my continuous line knowledge and experience to. The way that nature can work in these structures often surprises me.

This is separate to my ongoing art work of producing single continuous lines and colouring based upon interesting subjects – which can be animals, landscapes, portraits, still life and abstracts.

Other examples of looking at structures have been –

Four colour theory maps, where my overdraw method could divide a map up into two streams of alternate colours, hence the four colours. I corresponded with mathematicians Robin Wilson and Fred Holroyd in the mid 1970’s. See my post in August 2015 on Skydiver patterns and my Four Colour Theory.

The artist Escher’s favourite tile at the Alhambra in Spain, which I realised had two continuous lines running through it. I saw that the artist could have made in into a single line with two small alterations. See my posts of April 2015.

Knights moves on a chess board starting and finishing at the same square and landing once on all the other squares. See my 1974 picture in the Gallery 1965-1974.

I am always on the look out for new structures which are suitable.