Nautilus - Sandblasted PanelNautilus - Sandblasted Panel
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Nautilus - Sandblasted Panel

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In 2014, the Leiden Museum carbon dated a collection of prehistoric cutting tools found on the Indonesian island of Java. The tools were constructed from mussel shells by Homo Erectus, a primitive species of hominid that is closely related to modern humans. As hominids’ cognitive abilities continued to progress, they developed an ever-growing fascination with Nature. Undoubtedly, as they explored, examined, and experienced the world around them, they would have noticed, even before the concept of mathematics was developed, that the Universe often structures itself in aesthetically balanced forms.

The circle, the pinnacle of balanced forms, was likely the first shape to capture their attention. The sun and the moon were (and still are) omnipresent features of life on earth, and I imagine that our evolutionary ancestors would have frequently gazed skyward to appreciate their simple elegance. But Nature’s creations go far beyond the circle: from the concentric growth rings inside a tree, to the radial symmetry of flower pedals, to the logarithmic spirals of mollusk shells – geometry pervades the Cosmos. To early humans, these beautiful arrangements must have represented an underlying order, a powerful spiritual force that created and organized the universe.

Artwork Information

Location Canada
Region Northwest Coast
Artist Dylan Thomas
NWC Nation Coast Salish
Date Created 2016
Dimensions 15" x 12"
Materials & Edition sandplasted cedar, acrylic paint

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