George W. Hart

Oxalis is a laser-cut wood sculpture assembled with cable ties, so it fits in a family of artworks described in this paper.  The general shape here is an oblate spheroid, 30 inches in diameter horizontally and 15 inches tall.  It is dyed yellow on the exterior and and orange on the interior.  There is a vertical axis of 3-fold symmetry and three horizontal 2-fold axes. The twelve 5-sided openings are suggestive of a flower with five petals, so I named it Oxalis, but it is not intended to be specifically representative of the flower's structure.  The "petals" meet in groups of three to form twenty points.  The cable ties on these points are not cut, which adds to the sculpture's organic feeling.  To get a better sense of it's structure, you can see a video of it rotating here.

There are six different part shapes, all affinely related.  These derive from a single underlying shape, but it is projected at different angles to derive the oblate form from an underlying design with full icosahedral symmetry.  The small dots on the tip of each part are identifiers that may help viewers who study the sculpture to work out some of the details.

I made Oxalis for the 2016 Bridges Conference in Jyväskylä, Finland.  Here you can see it hanging as part of the conference Art Exhibition.  The lake and the city outside the window are quite lovely and made a beautiful setting for the art and the conference..

To save space, I brought the wood parts and cable ties with me and asked some friends to help me assemble it at the conference.  Bruce and Eve Torrence are modeling it here, after we assembled the two halves and were ready to join them together.

Before making the above version, I also made an uncolored prototype at a sculpture barn raising event at Ripon College in Ripon, Wisconsin.

Building it is tricky, because the six different types of pieces must be assembled in the proper arrangement.

Many students and faculty worked on it.

Now it is hanging in a corner of the math lounge.

Copyright 2016, George W. Hart