Nancy Hocking

Independent artist
UK, London
I make topological knots out of wire, flexible conduit, mesh tubing and, lately, paper. Paper knots are unruly. As soon as the two ends are joined they spring into the 3D world, taking on their own delightful forms. Some are destined for 3D printing. Some end up as chew toys for the foxes that visit my London garden at night. Some settle in the 2D world via photography where I use the angle of the light source, shadow, rotation of the knots, white balance, aperture and shutter speed as my palate. Manipulating images with these remarkably versatile tools can create atmospheres that reflect my sense of the otherworldliness of topology. Shadowy hints of crossings that are not seen directly expose the deep beauty of a knots. They transfix me.
Three, Four, Five
65 x 100 cm
photography
2021
'Three, Four, Five' displays topological knots with three, four and five crossings. KnotInfo is my source. I used 1.5cm wide strips of 200gm paper to make the knots 3_1, 4_1 and 5_2. Crossing sequences, width, length and thickness of the paper absolutely dictate the 3D forms, which never look anything like the original diagram of the knot. Minor manipulations can be imposed, but the paper knot is definitely in charge. The challenge then is to coax the knots to express their elegance with my wonderful, all bells and whistles new camera. Some knots are just too stubborn to let their beauty show. Some are instant stars. Basically, my role is that of director setting the stage. I find them so sensuous and lovely that I am often star struck.