Sunday, December 13, 2009

Storytime


I have blogged my sculptor friend John Holstead on several previous occasions. Here is a photo of what must surely be his most ambitious piece yet, called "The Story So Far", approaching its final manifestation. The chalk lines and numbers presumably have something to do with how John will finish the piece. Click to enlarge.

It has been a year or more in the making. The work is fashioned from laminations of plywood. The shape is based on a double Mobius strip. I can't begin to tell you how many hours of work on the computer were necessary to generate the patterns of the laminae -- many dozens of cutouts of 18 mm plywood, glued together and smoothed by hand. John showed me the computer renditions last summer; they are almost as marvelous as the work itself.

There is something cosmic going on here. I think of John as rather like Plato's Demiurge, a genial, bearded Olympian molding a universe with his hands. What we have is -- according to John -- only the story so far, but it seems to be a story without beginning or end, with enough convolutions and hidden recesses to keep us wondering and busy, and enough confidence in an underlying simplicity to insure that we don't just throw up our hands and walk away. A nice metaphor, I suppose, for the world we live in.