Philip Trust Collection, England (Private)



"DNA spinning within the Universe"

I discovered this sculpture by wrapping a ribbon around an inner tyre tube. What a marvelous surprise when I found that, on the fourth trip round, the ribbon returned to its point of origin. Ronnie Brown explains this happening in Torus Knots, part of the Mathematical Section of these pages. In this section there is also a 3D rotating image of the sculpture.

I created the sculpture about the time that the miracle of DNA had just been discovered, and for me, this delightful flowing ribbon summed up the continuity of the Genes. I found that I could balance the 18 inch maquette on a single point.

I decided to make a larger edition, but we were defeated by Physics, the sculpture was so heavy it would not support itself. However it would hang, so taking the Chinese Symbol of Heaven, I hung the miracle of DNA in the centre of the circle by a steel shark line. This also allowed it to revolve, and a gentle winding of the spiral sets it spinning within the Universe. When the line becomes fully twisted, and the spiral stops, it starts to unwind the other way, and Life starts to spin again. The spiral will carry on winding and unwinding for about the same length of time it takes to play the Pas de Deux from the Nutcracker Suite!

©Mathematics and Knots/Edition Limitee 1996
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