Wayne Roberts, visual artist, Australia  
  © 1999 wayne roberts, all rights reserved, watercolour, 74cm x 102cm, collection J A Fraser

paintings inspired by science, mathematics, and the spirit of exploration and discovery
V scroll for commentary below image   Arist's theory linking art-science-music-math
[Book form published 2003]

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  geometric painting,  Magellan, click to return to parent page  

The torus-like ring is actually based on an interesting three-dimensional geometric solid known as a twisted triangular prism. It's interesting because it only has one side (so-to-speak) which is continuous with itself even though it is always an equilateral triangle in cross-section at any point around the ring. In other words, Magellan (see small ship at 1 o'clock position on ring) can sail all the way around the loop without ever having to cross over a sharp triangular corner (?edge of the Earth!) and get back to where he started, but to do so he now has to circumnavigate the ring three times! That's because to create this particular "continuous surface", there is a one-third twist applied to the the loop (in cross section) for each period of revolution, and that's how, so-to-speak 'side-A becomes side-B becomes side-C which, after three loops, once again becomes side-A!' (This solid is very much like a three-dimensional Moebius strip which while appearing to have two separate sides, has actually only one continous (but twisted) surface.)

The painting celebrates the pioneering spirit, and the irony of Universal connectedness in which 'departing' ultimately becomes 'returning', 'homecoming'. The ring floats as if it were itself a vessel. More than this, it seems to fly high above a small sea-port seen far below. The human quest to circumnavigate the globe has been a poem of ever enlarging circles: sea, sky, and space: Magellan's circle, within a circle, within a circle.

Wayne Anton Roberts

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