Robert A.Hefner III Collection, Aspen



"Passing on the Torch of Life"


Animation link

Soon after my mother's death, our eldest son married, and as these things go, after a while his wife was expecting a baby. My position had suddenly changed. Instead of being the middle generation, I became the older one, a grandfather. I began to think of doing a sculpture that would capture the passing on of the precious flame of existence within a family, and I needed a symbol.

Experimenting with a piece of copper tubing soon led me to a trefoil knot. Here were my three generations expressed as loops. How could I make the surface move through time and become infinite ?

The answer came to me in the form of match boxes. I purchased 100 standard type boxes, and stuck them together in threes, along their strike sides. I made a three-foot high trefoil knot out of one inch pipe, leaving a gate at the top of one of the loops, onto which I could thread the middle match box. Lo and behold! With a little twisting in the right places, a Möbius Band (looked at in the Mathematical Section) formed around the trefoil.

I believe that IMMORTALITY is made up of one's memories of the past, as well as those one leaves behind. I see this Symbolic Sculpture not only as a continuous journey through generations, but also the scroll on which all of life's experience (DNA) is recorded.

You can see a small animation of IMMORTALITY iin Knots and Links, and the Trefoil Knot is considered in Torus Knots.

© Mathematics and Knots/Edition Limitee 1996 - 2002
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