Kekule's Dream

 Granite, obsidian.  1990.  16" high.  Stolen from a gallery.

The sculpture expresses the hoop snake myth I grew up with, and also commemorates the discovery of the ring structure of organic molecules by the German chemist August Kekule in 1864; the idea occurred to him in a dream about snakes.

Because hoop snakes employ such an unusual mode of transportation (according to my Grandpa Dale, "They get themselves up like a bicycle wheel and roll down the road, faster than a little boy can run!), the perceptual problem of guiding such fast motion is an interesting one.  Normal snake eyes would not do.  

To help me work out this evolutionary problem, I cast the head of the granite snake-in-progress in plaster and worked out the details there before carving them in stone.  (It turned out that eyes of a particular species of lizard were most appropriate.).  After the snake was stolen, the only thing left was the plaster.  I modeled the plaster head accurately in 3D in a computer (for another application of this technology in my sculpting, click here) and generated the ring of snake heads you see in the green image.

Please, please, please!  If you see my snake or know where it is, please let me know so I can negotiate its return.  Wouldn't it be wonderful if we used the World Wide Web to solve this art heist?