Unum Cutis means ‘One Skin’ in Latin. The artwork’s title refers to the sculpture’s topology. A modified Mobius form, the sculpture boasts one continuous surface. Its immediate appearance suggests a flexed strip with an inner and outer face and two edges. If you inspect it more closely, what seems to be two separate faces are continuous with each other, forming a single surface. If you follow one edge, you find yourself on what seems like the other edge and going further, you return to your starting point.
The exploration of figures such as this began centuries ago and has led to an understanding of the essence of shapes, structures and connections. The birth of topology as a subject flowed from such considerations. These days, topology is both an area of pure research and of applied mathematics. It helps us understand the effective design of networks, from traffic to communications. It helps us understand the folding and duplication of DNA. It serves to help us explore the Quantum nature of conscious matter.
It can do all of this, and still, give us beauty to reflect upon.
Dr Stuart Kolhagen (pictured above) has spent much of his career working with the Founding Director of Questacon: The National Science and Technology Centre. Working alongside Dr Mike Gore, Stuart helped to design and build over 1,000 interactive science exhibits for Questacon. He has also piloted many world-renowned educational outreach programs. In 2017, he retired from his role at Questacon as Director of Science and Learning. He now divides his time between developing public science programs and nature-based artworks. His work as a visiting fellow at The University of Canberra and ANU: The Australian National University and as The Science Nomad sees him working in emerging countries in the region. There, he supports educators with approaches to developing 21st Century science skills using the most humble of materials.
“Both art and science can provide people with new insights and perspectives. Central Equity and Wonderment Walk Victoria have been proud to collaborate with Questacon’s Dr Stuart Kohlhagen to create an elegant sculptural work for Southbank Place Apartments’ Horizon Club. It is not only an arresting visual feature but will hopefully provide the impetus for discussion about the nature of science and art.”