Tai Chi, 2019
Sculptured by John Tyler
Gifted in honor of the Dave and Louise Maher Family
Location: south side of the College of Engineering, Architecture & Technology Building
Dedication on Campus: Friday, November 1, 2019 | 10:30 A.M.
John Tyler explores the kinetic response of balanced metallic forms to air movement. Fabricating with steel and stainless steel to give the illusion of massive weightlessness and random motion, Tyler's work makes visible the influence of the air surrounding us in graceful and serene ways. Pulling together diverse components of his background in aerodynamics, art and mathematics, he designs sculpture that could be characterized as abstract-organic. Function dictates form to some degree in a kinetic work, and much of the focus is involved in positioning the elusive "center of gravity" to obtain the best balance then letting the form evolve from these parameters. There arrives a quintessential moment in the creation of a kinetic work when the pieces move, seemingly on their own for the first time, in patterns that will rearrange themselves through the years.
Inspired by some of George Rickey's later developments in kinetic sculpture, Tyler employs non-parallel axes of rotation and the resulting angle interactions of a series of counterweighted components. His current work is focused on cantilevered, compound pendulums in the form of stainless steel beams. The beams imply mass that is belied by the impression of weightless motion. Kinetic movement takes us into the fourth dimension where time expands the number of possibilities.
In search of contrast, Tyler combines various types of steel in his sculptures. Stainless steel lends itself to brush patterns, which give a holographic effect as they move and reflect sunlight. Carbon steel is very receptive to patina and can look ancient or organic.
Always one to appreciate motion for its own sake when well executed; Tyler enjoys surfing and mountain biking. His past involves many entrancing hours exploring the ocean, the teaching of mathematics, design and construction of both geodesic domes and experimental aircraft, and the development of an energy sufficient lifestyle that includes solar electricity used in the fabrication of his sculptures. He entered the art world when his passion for metallic precision intersected his sense of form. Tyler enjoys working from his remote studio, surrounded by a vibrant oak forest. In this setting, both his appreciation for nature and ability to create are nurtured daily. https://www.sculpturesite.com