Shadowtwister – A new sculpture by John Wragg

Title: ‘SHADOWTWISTER’
Materials: Stainless Steel & Electric Motor
Size: H:3m x W:2.5m
Location: Part of the permanent collection at the Kitty Harri Sculpture Garden, Jete, Andalucia. Open Sunday’s 10.00am- 4.00pm

John Wragg recently completed a 3 month artist-in -residence at Kitty Harri’s Sculpture Garden, near Jete, constructing the above named piece of work for the Gardens permanent collection.

Quasicrystal Geometry

The construction is based on a fascinating, unique geometry, that only came to light in the 1980’s. Quasicrystal geometry was initially a purely geometrical concept but since it’s inception, have been produced in certayin aluminium alloys, as well as being found in ancient meteorite debris.

What’s unique about quasicrystals is their ability to transmute, through rotation into distinctly different symmetries. In certain orientations, they can display 2 fold, 3 fold or 5 fold symmetry. These contrasting symmetries can be viewed on computer simulations or be seen in actual constructions, built from quasicrystals.

A multiple arrangement of a 3D quasicrystal structure will reveal these symmetries through viewing the object from different positions and most graphically, by seeing how it’s shadows transmute according to varying lighting conditions, whether these are natural or artificial.

As the sun passes over a quasicrystal structure, all 3 symmetries will be visible and displayed in turn throughout the day. Seeing such patterns unravel in their flexible multiplicity, yet realising they are all emanating from a rigid structure, can be enticingly beguiling, hypnotic even…

Shadowtwister sculpture by John Wragg Art

The Kitty Harri Sculpture Garden

The piece built at Kitty Harri’s is based on a single element from a quasicrystal tessellation. When approached, it is stationery, but as the spectator gets closer, a beam is triggered that causes the construction to rotate. Different shadows are thereby created that display characteristics of the symmetries mentioned above. These rotating shadows also vary, on the time of day and passage of the sun.

The construction is built from welded stainless steel rods, driven by a motor underneath, buried in the ground. John could not have realised this project without the generous support of Kitty Harri and the unstinting technical input from her partner, Nick Tasker – thank you both so much.

This work, amongst many others (including a piece by Wes Somerville), can be seen at Kitty Harri’s Sculpture Garden, in the beautiful setting of the hills above Almunecar. (See website for directions & opening times etc.)

Further interesting information and images of quasicrystal geometry can be found on the Internet & YouTube.
Written by John Wragg
July 2017

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