Symbolic Sculpture

by Nicholas Mee on January 17, 2013

Some years ago I worked with the sculptor John Robinson to create a series of virtual realizations of his abstract geometrical sculptures. The result was a collection of stunning ray-traced animations called Symbolic Sculpture. I have included a few of these animations here.

The first shows a polyhedron called Pulse.

 

 

The polyhedron is closely related to the truncated icosahedron, which has 12 pentagonal faces and 20 hexagonal faces.

 

 

 

The next sculpture is called Genesis. It consists of three interlocking rhombuses. They are linked together in the same way as the Borromean rings, so that no two are linked, but the three rhombus rings cannot be separated. (If one were removed the other two would come apart.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

The third sculpture is called Immortality. It is a mobius strip that has been twisted into a trefoil knot. A frame from this animationĀ is reproduced in John Barrow’s book Cosmic Imagery: Key Images in the History of Science. John Barrow also used the image to open his 2009 Faraday Lecture: Every Picture Tells a Story, at the Royal Society.

 

 

 

Further Information

There is a short video about the Immortality animation here: Immortality on The Cosmic Mystery Tour YouTube Channel. Please don’t forget to subscribe to the YouTube channel.

 

Symbolic Sculpture CD-ROM by Nicholas Mee and John Robinson
http://virtualimage.co.uk/html/symbolic_sculpture.html

Art and Mathematics CD-ROM by Nicholas Mee
http://virtualimage.co.uk/html/art_and_mathematics.html

 

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