The Andrew Wiles Building, home to Oxford Mathematics, is a space where mathematics is embedded in the design, from the Penrose Paving to the two large interior crystals. However, it is also a space filled with light, a natural environment for art that works explicitly with light and colour. It is with this in mind that London-based artist Antoni Malinowski was commissioned to paint an art work on the white walls of the entrance area of the Building.
Antoni describes his work as follows:
"Each day the journey of light is registered on the two large white walls facing each other in the luminous foyer. My work begins by sensitising this background by applying a reflective paint made with mica ground to a fine pigment. Then on the south facing wall, using light absorbing pigments, I paint in colours related to the warm end of the spectrum - from red to yellow. These light wave subtractive earth pigments have been used by painters for around forty thousand years.
On the north facing wall, other historical pigments like green earth, lapis lazuli and azurite to mark the cool end of the spectrum - from green to violet. An additional layer of brush strokes is painted with contemporary paint, made with nano technology interference pigments. These don’t absorb light, but bend the wavelengths. The interaction of these two ways in which colour is ‘produced’ create the dynamic of the paintings. The wall paintings appear very different from different viewing points and with different light conditions. The colour oscillates between darkness and light, appearing and disappearing, showing different sides of binary complementarities. One elongated thin line in each painting will contribute to the opening of the pictorial space - an invitation for an imaginary spatial journey.”