2016 saw London’s cultural scene embrace and explore the most unappreciated of genres and influences. Having experienced taxidermy, Instagram photo calls and all out rebellion, 2017 will have its work cut out to continue our artistic education.
January sees the unveiling of the newly completed, state-of-the-art gallery at the ever-evolving National Science Museum. The Winton was, true to its futuristic design and concept, filmed “in progress” as its architect, Zaha Hadid, established the core themes of the gallery. The focus of the Winton’s collection is how maths has shaped the world; that the field of mathematics in turn has been influenced by human needs and activities, such as travel, survival, money and war.
Mathematics: The Winton Gallery is about so much more than just math.
The exhibition is an intellectual vessel in which we can be transported through centuries, lands and ideas. Rather than focusing on the technicalities of math, the collection turns the tables and explores the human factor behind the science using stories about the work of mathematicians in the broadest sense, from salespeople to sailors, aircraft engineers to bankers, gamblers to garden designers and how each of their contributions have shaped the course of history.
The exhibition features such mechanisms as a 1949 analog computer known as MONIAC, an Islamic astrolabe from 1666 which was used by astronomers to study the position of the mysterious celestial bodies that appeared in the sky and a Handley Page aircraft, suspended in the middle of the space, which is the centrepiece of the gallery.
In its first months, the gallery embarks on a journey through ‘400 years of human ingenuity’ and signals a new collaboration between art and science and is sure to make way from a deeper look at the impact mathematicians have had on the world.