October 12, 2010

Möbius in Toronto

A glistening, sinuous shape at the other end of a courtyard caught my eye as I was walking down Yonge Street during a recent visit to Toronto. I had to take a closer look.

The sculpture sits in the Anne Johnston Courtyard, between two high-rise towers (named Quantum and Quantum 2) at 2181 and 2191 Yonge Street, in Toronto, Canada.

About 8 feet tall, the stainless-steel sculpture forms a giant, twisted band that stretches skyward in a wide, stiff loop. I quickly confirmed that the band does, indeed, have the one edge and one side characteristic of a Möbius strip.

I later discovered that the sculpture, created by Toronto artist Lilly Otasevic, is titled Möbius. Her own description of the sculpture acknowledges its mathematical roots and notes the Möbius strip's present-day ubiquity as the underlying form of the three-arrow recycling symbol.

Otasevic says that her sculpture represents "transformation and timeless continuity of natural processes," symbolizing balance and "our unity with nature." Many of her other artworks have also been inspired by nature and natural processes, especially the interplay between light and shadow and interrelationships between organic and inorganic matter, as seen in crystals, Fibonacci spirals, cellular structures, and elsewhere.

Otasevic joins a growing number of artists who have found inspiration in the wonderful mathematical discovery of August Ferdinand Möbius, a list that includes Max Bill, Charles Perry, and others.

Photos by I. Peterson

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