Illusion and Reality


This was a work that had a long genesis. I have produced many pieces with a grid-like geometric arrangement of elements. The addition here of parallel pairs of mirrors providing the illusion of infinite reflections is the important development.

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I chose to make two separate boxed grids, one black and one white. The arrangement of the elements, choice of material, finish and orientation is derived from a random binary series. Each boxed grid is a mirror of the other, one predominantly black, the other white. Additionally, the boxes are placed on plinths precisely, so that the elements line up and the reflections in one box align with the contrasting elements in the other box. The distance between the boxes in exactly the same as the separation of the mirrors in each box, so that there are two reflected versions of reality in the space between the boxes. The plinths are built at a height where it is natural to look into the boxes and see the infinite reflections in each box.

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Transparent materials can disappear and give visible components the illusion of weightlessness. Mirrored surfaces confuse the eye and add further illusion to the visual experience. Similarly, matt, granular surfaces can swallow light and interact with mirrors in interesting ways. The illusory, virtual nature of reflections interests me deeply. They appear to show objects in parallel realities, obeying the same physical laws but reversed. The illusion can be complete, but the motion in this virtual space is dependent on actions in our own space. Who is to say, however, that mirror worlds do not express the projection of other realities on our own consciousness?

So, what do I expect from the viewer of my work? What kind of reaction to I hope for? Fundamentally, I hope for a response to the aesthetic aspect of the work. The symmetry and pattern within my work is there for reasons of beauty. I find geometric design and repetition attractive and hope others will share my appreciation. I have been inspired by minimalist art from the last century. Donald Judd, Frank Stella and Sol LeWitt are artists whose work I admire for its’ simplicity and for its’ elegant beauty. LeWitt is of special interest to me for his logical exploration of geometry with aesthetic purpose. He has also found a balance between order and chaos in his work which I seek in my own pieces.

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