LSU College of Science
LSU
Mathematics

Five

Five

Marion Drennen

Quantum Connections

  • Title: Five
  • Size: Quadriptych 36” wide × 36” tall
  • Medium: Acrylic on Canvas

The central motif is a tally. From pre-historic time, through all ages and even today, this is man’s most basic method of keeping a record of a number. By making a mark for each one thing counted, and by making a different mark for every fifth, this universal symbol speaks of our connectedness to all mankind, across the globe and throughout time.

The human brain cannot comprehend a quantity of more than 4 without the need to count. If one were to glance up at the sky and see 4 birds flying by, it would be easy to know, instantly, there were 4 birds. If 5 birds were in that group and you only had a glance, you wouldn’t know how many were there because you’d need enough time to count them … 1-2-3-4-5. That’s why all tally marks have something different happen at each fifth mark … to make it clear there was ONE MORE than FOUR without the need to count.

In the background is the Pentagon, the five-sided shape.

All the words and glyphs in the background are the names and numerals for “5” in various languages. Note the hand, which has 5 digits.