In 1904, a New York Times article introduced Dr. Alexander Graham Bell’s tetrahedral kite experiment. According to the article, the construction of these kites was first introduced by the Chinese thousands of years ago. Using aspects of their design, coupled with Laurence Hargrave’s “box model,” Dr. Bell constructed a forty-foot wide kite with the potential for flight. His design would inspire future generations of artists, inventors, and engineers.
Little Shining Man is a sculpture based off of Dr. Bell’s kite design. With the utilization of lightweight materials, a mass that appears to be too heavy for flight contradicts us all. This remarkable piece is one of three, that come together to form a single sculpture. The piece is separated and flown in St. Aubin’s Bay once a year. Although the materials used to construct this project are light in weight, they also needed to be durable to ensure the safety of the piece upon landing. The handmade scupture took over 16 months to make and required 23,000 separate pieces to construct.
“…based around the tetra kites of Alexander Graham Bell, multiplied out into colliding cubes that take their form from the cubic formations of the mineral Pyrite…Carbon fibre rod and Cuban fibre, a hand made composite fabric used primarily in racing yacht sails, achieved the perfect combination of strength and weight…”
Conceived by Heather & Ivan Morison Designed by Sash Reading Engineered and Fabricated by Queen + Crawford Photography/Images © Matt Porteous QCK_01 designer: Matthew Higginbottom Fabricators: Matthew Foster, Matthew Higginbottom, Joseph Wheldon, Matthew North, John Hammersley. Machinists: Sue Fox, Zoey Evans Kite Fabric Cutting: Automated Cutting Services