If I Killed my Grandfather


The Mobius strip continues to fascinate physicists, as it has since the paradox was first discovered. If you follow the contours of the Mobius, you discover that there is in fact only one surface. A true mobius cannot exist in this dimension, but many prominent scientist engaged in the study of string theory, are coming to the conclusion that the universe is one vast mobius and where the mobius bends or touches, there is the possibility of time travel, or even travel between multiple dimensions. This leads to the ‘Grandfather’ paradox. If you travelled back in time and, for some reason, killed your grandfather, could you exist to travel back in time?

This large mobius and the chained multiple mobius, representing the links between possible dimensions, is made of cut, twisted and welded sheet steel with a coat of paint providing the single surface. Many sculptors and artists such as Keizo Ushio, Max Bill and Escher have been inspired by the mobius form.

The work was made in response to the theme ‘Double Take’, which was a result of illusion or paradox. The Mobius was used to portray both and was contained within an installation. The installation portrayed a crime scene where the supposition should be made that an unknown person had gone back in time and killed his grandfather, therefore ceasing to exist himself. Clues to his existence were, the empty suit of modern clothes, the outline of the murder victim in the exhibition area, near the sculpture. The installation actually started outside the building, with the grandfather’s abandoned 1934 vintage car. A contribution was made by Schroedinger’s cat, which kindly posed by the mobius for one of the photographs.

This piece was seen by an eminent physicist, who has been studying string theory and the mobius paradox for many years. He commented that it was an excellent artistic portrayal of the mobius paradox.

Thanks go to Dr Paul Kilsby, who introduced me to my first mobius sculpture and to Ron Arid for his inspirational use of metal in sculpture and design.

Sculpture, Installation