November 5, 2019


Stars and Poppy Seeds by Ukrainian husband and wife team Romana Romanyshyn and Andriy Lesiv is a stunning combination of art and mathematics.

Flora loves to count. She counts everything around her, from the grains of sand on the beach to the leaves on the trees to the bricks in old buildings. As the daughter of two mathematicians, Flora finds math all around her and enjoys a good counting challenge. But when she looks through a telescope one day and sees the dazzling stars above, she wonders if she can ever count that high. Flora's mom takes her aside and explains that anything Flora sets her mind to is achievable, she just might have to take small steps to get there.

From the silver foiling on the cover (and back cover!), it's evident that careful attention was paid to the design of this book. Every spread is equal parts breathtaking and unique: the color palette varies per page, but the consistent piece is that each illustration is heavily detailed with a combination of loose abstract concepts and detailed mathematical drawings. The illustrations themselves are mixed media, featuring collaged papers, crayons, pen-and-ink diagrams, and patterned prints. The amount of media used requires a keen eye and significant time spent on each page to absorb the gravity of each scene.

Stars and Poppy Seeds published from Tate earlier this fall.

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