From the October 2013 Desktop News | Woods Quad on the UA campus now boasts a fifth large-scale outdoor sculpture courtesy of artist Lindsay Jones Lindsey, a 2012 graduate of the Department of Art and Art History. The piece is a six-and-a-half foot sculpture depicting a Fibonacci spiral with an exposed stainless steel skeleton and is part of the Woods Quad Sculpture Garden.
Lindsey, who triple minored in biological sciences, Computer-Based Honors and the Blount Undergraduate Initiative while at UA, began designing the piece in 2009. The idea for the design came from a collaborative lighting initiative that brought together students in Associate Professor Craig Wedderspoon’s design class with classes in the College of Engineering and the interior design program in the College of Human Environmental Sciences to develop solutions for areas on campus in need of lighting design.
Lindsey took some of the ideas from that course project, such as using mirror-grade stainless steel to create reflective light, and combined it with her interests in science and math. She blended these ideas with the Fibonacci sequence, a well-known mathematical sequence in which each number is the sum of the previous two numbers. The sequence is found in structures in nature, such as in the arrangement of a pineapple or a pinecone, or in the spirals of ferns or the chambered Nautilus.
Lindsey incorporated the Fibonacci sequence into different elements of the sculpture. Its basic framework is circles inside a three-dimensional spiral, made from square metal tubing. Each circle’s diameter grows in proportion to the Fibonacci numbers. The framework spirals upward in Fibonacci proportions and is webbed with shiny, sail-shaped curved metal panels whose shapes echo the inside of a Nautilus shell, which also follows the Fibonacci sequence.
After she designed the sculpture, she wrote a paper about it with an education component to teach students about the art, science and math represented in it. With the assistance of Wedderspoon, she went to Dr. Judy Bonner, who was UA’s provost at that time, for permission to make the sculpture a reality. The Office of the Provost under now-President Bonner gave permission to install the work in Woods Quad and funded its construction.
Lindsey reached out to friends and others to construct the sculpture. Kyle Cruz, a 2009 UA graduate, took scans of each template piece and converted them into digital files for a machinist. Matthew Jordan of Fitz-Thors Engineering, a 2010 UA alumnus, cut all the metal pieces from the digital files.
Lindsey then worked closely with Mike Eddins, an art major and graduate of New College who now works as an assistant arts technician in the Department of Art and Art History. They rolled each piece of metal into its appropriate shape and drilled all the pieces together. Their collaborative efforts resulted in the stunning piece now on display in Woods Quad.