FIRST LOOK: New Mathema Gallery opens

Published 1:00pm 25 August 2023

FIRST LOOK: New Mathema Gallery opens
Words by Ashleigh Howarth

A new gallery full of rare mathematical artefacts, books, artworks, interactive digital displays and games will open in Ocean View this weekend.

Following a year of construction, the doors to the new Mathema Gallery will open for the first time as part of the City of Moreton Bay’s inaugural History 360 Festival.

The gallery is owned by mathematical scholars Dr Calvin and Rosemary Irons, who built the gallery to share their love of mathematics and show off their personal collection to the wider community.

While there are museums which include sections on mathematics, this gallery is believed to the first of its kind in Australia.

“As mathematics educators, Rosemary and I want everyone to enjoy learning about mathematics. Mathematics is ever evolving, and new ideas are constantly created in our modern world,” Dr Calvin said.

“Our intention for the exhibits and activities are to be enjoyable, challenging in a fun way and most importantly be accessible to a wide audience.

“We hope visitors can walk away from an experience at the gallery thinking “wow I did not realise that was what mathematics is all about”.

In the outer gallery, visitors will be treated to an array of exhibitions highlighting how ancient civilizations and cultures such as the ancient Egyptians, Incas and Chinese created mathematic techniques that are still used today.

In each section there are also interactive flip cards with mathematical puzzles and equations to test your brain.

The gallery also has its own dedicated library, which Rosemary says will highlight a wide range of displays and rare books.

“We have sections on famous mathematicians, another section on educational resources in the UK, America and Australia, especially Queensland, as well as mathematics in literature, like Moby Dick and Dr Seuss – the Cat in the Hat is very mathematical.

“We also have a collection of extremely rare books which are all originals, which people can’t touch. The oldest book in the collection dates back to 1713.”

Inside the library are also thousands of books people can pick up and read, as well as every edition of National Geographic dating back to October 1916.

Other must-see displays at the gallery include an original magazine article written by Benjamin Franklin - a Founding Father of the United States - dated July 1768, an interactive touchscreen which will be used to display a timeline showing key milestones in mathematics history, as well as a gift shop that is stocked with t-shirts, jewellery, homewares, posters, games and books.

Dr Calvin and Rosemary’s book, titled The Amazing Beginnings of Mathematics, explains in detail the various exhibitions that are on display in the gallery, and can be purchased at the gift shop. 

To celebrate the opening this weekend, Dr Calvin and Rosemary will also unveil a special sculpture which will sit proudly outside the gallery.

As part of the History 360 Festival, the Mathema Gallery will be open on August 26 and 27 from 10am-5pm.

To book your tickets to the Mathema Gallery, as well as many of the other great events that make up the History 360 Festival, visit the City of Moreton Bay website.

Sneak peek

To see more photos from the Mathema Gallery, click through the photo gallery below.

Head on down

Following the History 360 Festival, the Mathema Gallery will be open from Thursday to Sunday, 10am-5pm.

Entry is free.

The gallery is also available for school excursions.

The Mathema Gallery is located at 2557 Mount Mee Rd, Ocean View.

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