George W. Hart

Those sneaky little skinks are hard to make sense of in this nine-inch acrylic sculpture. There are sixty of them slinking around each other. They conspire in groups of five at their heads and also in groups of five at their tails. The transparent acrylic gives them a mysterious, spectral quality that is hard to grasp visually, despite its crystaline geometric symmetry.

This view along a five-fold axis with a darker background probably doesn't help much in conveying the structure.  The transparency of the acrylic makes Skinks quite hard to photograph, but when held in your hands, it is really cool, if I do say so myself.

This sculpture was very difficult technically.  I designed Skinks in January, 2004, but thought it might be too difficult to physically build. Nevertheless, in 2005 I decided to laser-cut the parts and think about how to put them together.  Above, you can see the sixty components before I sanded all the bevels, peeled off the protective paper, and assembled them. I fiddled with them on and off for years before managing to work out all the steps and jigging techniques.  I finally finished the sculpture in January, 2010---six years arter first visualizing the form!  This is by far the longest any sculpture has ever taken me, so I'm quite happy it is done.

The above computer rendering with opaque components should help convey the structure and why it is so difficult to assemble.  Groups of five heads meet together at a pyramidal point in twelve places (the vertices of an imagined icosahedron). Floating under each of these points, there is a vortex of five tails swirling together at another pyramidal point, but these tail pyramids point inwards.  In addition, the feet of each skink both meet the feet of another, so in total, each skink makes six connections.  All these joints must be made precisely, as acrylic is not flexible, with some angles convex and others concave.  Trust me, this was hard to build.

Copyright 2010, George W. Hart