Emily Mann

These works were constructed as part of a class project in Studio: 2D (ARTDES 115) which focused on radial balance, the interplay between positive and negative space, and the application of Gestalt principles. Their creation consisted of the gluing of three basic shapes onto white 6x6 inch Bristol board squares. I cut these shapes (circles, squares, and strips) out of black paper with a Cricut machine in four sizes (¼ inch, ½ inch, 1 inch, and 1½ inch). 


I found that, for me, attempting to create radial symmetry within the confines of a square often yielded four identical sections (or “slices” of the circular pie, so to speak). I chose to arrange certain iterations so that the shapes were contained within the white square, whereas others included shapes that extended beyond the edges and were cropped in order to imply an extension of the radial design. Through this project, I grappled with the fact that an entire composition could be thrown off by a single misplaced shape, and I gained a new appreciation for the precision that a well-balanced piece of this kind demands. All in all, this collection of works aims to explore some of the many ways that radial symmetry can be achieved with even the most basic building blocks.

© 2021 University of Michigan