Vibha Galhotra

ACCELERATION / ghungroos, fabric, wood and steel / 2 x 117 in / 2017

The work FIVE ELEMENTS is inspired by the mathematical three-dimensional forms of the Platonic solids, named after the ancient Greek philosopher Plato, who designed them around 350 A.D. to represent the atomic pattern of the five classical elements: earth, water, fire, air and ether. The mathematical symmetry of these solids which are composed of congruent regular convex polygons with identical faces meeting at a vertex, led Plato to theorize in his dialogue ‘Timaeus’that these solids were the building blocks of nature or life itself. To the five solids composed including tetrahedron, cube, octahedron, dodecahedron, or icosahedron, he attributed the atomic patterns of the elements fire, earth, air, water and ether or cosmos respectively. Through this depiction, Plato presented an account of the formation of the universe and believed it to be “the handiwork of a divine Craftsman… who, imitating an unchanging and eternal model, imposes mathematical order on a preexistent chaos to generate the ordered universe (kosmos).” Impressed with these geometric shapes which lie at the cross-section of science and spirituality, Galhotra tried to revisit the formlessness of these elements which give form to everything that exists.