The 99 Dreams of Euclid's Wife by Cathryn Miller

Although Euclid is famed as the author of four mathematical treatises —Elements, Optics, Data, Phaenomena— and is often referred to as the “father of Geometry”, almost nothing is known about him as a person. He is believed to be of Greek descent and to have lived in Alexandria circa 300 BCE.

If Euclid was a real individual (and not a group of scholars), it is completely within the realm of possibility that he was married. I think of him sitting with his wife on their roof terrace on a summer evening, enjoying the cooling air. He recounts his day’s activities to his wife while she stitches a traditional decorative pattern on the new shirt she has made for him.

When it gets too dark to sew, they retire to bed. As she falls asleep, her husband’s geometric theories and her embroidery patterns become conflated in her mind. Euclid’s wife dreams new designs of squares, circles, and triangles.

These are 99 of her dreams, coloured to match the day they were recorded. The work is designed to be interactive, permitting the reader to re-order the pages/dreams as it suits them. Reading the work is intended to be a meditative or dreamlike process.

Artist Bio

Cathryn Miller has worked in the book arts for more than thirty years, and as a book artist since 2004. Miller’s works have won multiple awards and are held in more than sixty public collections in Canada, England, Ireland, Europe, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, and the United States.