Quaternion Quest: Solo Show, The LAB, Dublin, curated by Sheena Barrett, 2014

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In 1843 the Irish mathematician Hamilton had long been mulling over the problem of how to multiply in 3D space. Whilst walking from Dunsink Observatory to the Royal Irish Academy, in a moment of sudden realisation and least he forget it, he inscribed the formula for Quaternion multiplication on Broom Bridge in Dublin on the 16 October 1843


This early act of mathematical vandalism was first described to me by an old school friend (now a mathematician), in her search for Broom Bridge as a site of mathematical pilgrimage. (There is an annual walk to the site by mathematicians and other Quaternion aficionados) The equation  formed a type of bridge in modern mathematics between algebra and geometry. This installation and film is a quest to try to understand the equation and map that process.


This show was a solo show, curated by Sheena Barrett for the LAB gallery, Dublin city Council’s gallery. The work was born out of curiosity sparked by my mathematician friend’s quest to find the bridge. It took the form of me as an artist trying to understand the equation (a form of 3D multiplication which is has applications as diverse as satellite tracking and digital rotoscoping) through art making, 3D manipulations of materials and ongoing dialogues regarding the development of these works with EmeritusProf Luke Drury from the  Institute for advanced Studies as well as my mathematician friends Dr. Áine McManus & Dr. Peter Kootsookos whom first introduced me to the quest


The work was facilitated by Dunsink Observatory and the Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies. Various events walks (including participation in the annual Hamilton Walk) were organised in conjunction with the show. With thanks to Prof Luke Drury, Dubln Institute for advanced Studies & Dunsink Observatory, Dr. Áine McManus & Dr. Peter Kootsookos. Supported by RIAD, University of Ulster

Original languageEnglish
PublisherThe LAB Gallery
Media of outputOnline
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 11 Sept 2014
EventQuaternion Quest - The LAB / Dublin
Duration: 11 Sept 201415 Nov 2014


  • Installation
  • film
  • Quaternion Equations
  • Dunsink Observatory


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