Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Timaeus


I have introduced you before to my friend the sculptor John Holstead, a Yorkshireman transplanted to Kerry. You will know by now that he is fascinated by the idea of representing abstract mathematical and scientific ideas as three-dimensional sculptures. These hugely complex pieces he conceives and designs on the computer, then builds from lamina, hand-shaped and polished -- a hugely labor intensive task.

You have seen his work here, here, and here.

John has just sent me a photo of his latest work as it nears completion, a piece inspired by a mathematical discovery known as Costa's minimal surface. I had never heard of Costa's minimal surface (you can look it up on Wikipedia), and have no idea how John came to know about it, but it's clearly right down his alley.

As I've suggested before, when I see John rasping away in his workshop, I figure that's about as close an image as I'll ever get to the biblical Creator or the Platonic demiurge crafting a universe based on mathematical laws that he understands and leaves for the rest of us to discover.