Using Parabola Concepts in Design
‘Parabola’ refers to a mathematical curve which is used in architecture, seen in Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia for example. It follows the curve of an object thrown up in the air, straighter sides and a more steeply curved apex and is symmetrical. A sound wave will bounce around within and be focused at a point, like in a whispering gallery. Light waves also bounce around within the curve in the same way.
The Parabolas were made in response to the acoustics of Salisbury Cathedral; I was asked to create sculpture to exhibit in, ‘Reflection’, an exhibition of artists who work with glass. Sound in the Cathedral is especially emotive; the vibrations of the organ, the quiet hush, the choir, the cathedral stone reflects these sounds in a unique way. I chose to represent tiny sections of one such sound wave, created a symmetrical pair mosaiced with black hand painted glass which reflected light from the stained glass windows in the many tiny facets.