Meet Jonty Hurwitz: Engineer & Artist

2 Aug 2015 - 14:30

In February 2015, Jonty Hurwitz’s sculpture “Trust” was awarded the world record for the “Smallest sculpture of a human” by the Guinness Book of Records.

Hurwitz had pioneered a new sculptural technique using multiphoton lithography and photogrammetry to create the world’s smallest human portraits, effectively nano-sculptures (see image at the end of the article). They are so tiny, that they are invisible to the human eye, and can only be observed through a non-optical method of magnification, like a scanning electron microscope. Hurwitz collaborated with a team of scientists including Stephan Hengsbach of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany and Yehiam Prior of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. (see: Wikipedia: Jonty Hurwitz)

What is the connection to the RRSG?

Jonty Hurwitz happens to be an alumnus of the Radar Remote Sensing Group at the University of Cape Town; in the mid-1990s, Jonty studied under Prof Mike Inggs, doing research in the field of radar pattern recognition. See his paper titled “Synthetic Range Profile Measurements of Aircraft”, published in the 1993 IEEE South African Symposium on Communications and Signal Processing (COMSIG ’93):

Abstract: “This work reports practical results obtained from synthetic range profile (SRP) processing of commercial aircraft, using a pulse compression radar. The radar transmits pulses over a wide range of carrier frequencies, and by processing the returns, high resolution down-range profiles of airborne targets may be produced. Profiles obtained from large aircraft such as the Airbus are compared to those obtained from smaller, single engined aircraft. Helicopters have also been measured, and as expected, produced complex profiles due to the high Doppler frequency components of their rotor blades. The authors also discuss the data capture system.” (Link to article)

Following his research post, Hurwitz travelled for a long period of time in India studying Yoga and wood carving, until moving to London. There, he

He is now based in London, and “best known for his scientifically inspired artworks, anamorphic sculptures and for the smallest statues ever created of the human form” (Wikipedia: Jonty Hurwitz).

Have a look at his intriguing website to find out more about the unusual pieces of art he creates.