I painted this anamorphic piece for my friends at the Gin Bar in Nether Edge, Sheffield. This is the first time I’ve used perspective anamorphosis outside and in such an accessible way, creating a piece of interactive public art.
Commissioned by The University Of Sheffield in February 2016 to paint 24m of construction hoarding under the concourse outside the students union which was erected for the essential bridge maintenance that was taking place. Originally intended to only be in place for three months, due to its popularity, the piece stayed many months after the work was complete, lasting approximately a year and a half.
This was my first anamorphic piece using just a single plane of perspective. I had full creative freedom for this so took the opportunity to explore some ideas and try something new. As tempting as it was to design and paint something totally personal, I felt I had a duty to paint something typographical that related to, and that could inspire its audience. I came up with the phrase when I asked myself – ‘what do you go to uni for?” then cut this into my tech wave pattern, creating a Trompe L’oeil piece which had viewers walking right up to it to check if it was indeed three dimensional.
Here’s my Elephant for the Herd of Sheffield, the biggest public art event to ever occur in Sheffield. 40 artists were commissioned by The Childrens Hospital Charity to paint over 50 of these which are now spread all over the city. The exhibition runs till October 5th when they will all be sold in a huge charity auction. All proceeds going towards the purchase of state of the art life-saving equipment.
“Technicolour Pachyderms” pays homage to the Disney classic, Dumbo. The title is taken from a line in the theme tune which plays alongside the famous ‘Pink elephants on parade’ scene. This mind-bending, hallucinatory section of the film always left quite an impression on me and inspired the piece. To mirror this atmosphere in the real world, I used Perspective Anamorphosis to split the sculpture in two, and paint two of the characters that feature in the scene from viewpoints directly opposite each other.
From every other angle, the patterns are warped and inconsistent. Viewers are required to move around the piece to discover the exact viewpoint when they will see the true depiction of the 2D characters.
A huge challenge but overall incredibly rewarding when it’s all for charity! Many thanks to SCX Group for sponsoring my design and making it all possible.
Commissioned by Constellations, Liverpool to create anamorphic signage in the entrance foyer to the venue. I created concentric hexagons of ever decreasing scale to give the effect of perspective. When combined with perspective anamorphosis a tunnel effect is achieved. I also hand painted 3D text with a perspective effect also in anamorphosis.
I was invited by Peter Barber and Bec Smith to help out with the construction and painting of a temporary installation for Frequency 2015 Festival of Multimedia. This was a very interesting project which playfully questioned our understanding and definition of freedom and liberation; the theme of Frequency Festival 2015. The installation used conductive paint and projection mapping to create a highly interactive experience. Read more about the project and see more photo’s and videos here.
Private commission to paint some stairs running up to an attic room in a family home.
Commissioned by Union St to produce a complementary scenic mural in their main Co-working space.
I was asked back to paint a flowing mural up the stairwell from the ground floor up to the co-working space on the second floor, connecting all spaces together.
Presenting the Dazzle Room. An immersive puzzle room for The Great Escape, Sheffield. When asked to create a room for them I saw it as an amazing opportunity to create something completely immersive and engaging. For those unfamiliar with live escape games, they generally comprise of themed room for groups of 2-6 players, filled with codes and clues with which the players have to solve in order to escape. The beauty of their games is they blindfold the players first and lead them into the rooms, positioning them at specific points (often handcuffed and padlocked in). This posed a unique opportunity for using the anamorphic technique to create optical illusions. Having created anamorphic art in public locations a number of times now, I have found that unless it is made obvious, the general public can find it hard to locate the correct viewpoint. The unique difference here being that players are walked in blindfolded then positioned in the specific viewpoints, the illusion, therefore, will be visible as soon as they take the blindfold off.
The idea for an optical illusion room came from previous work and study into Dazzle Camouflage. Developed in WW1 for the concealment of naval ships, these huge vessels were painted with complex monochromatic patterns of geometric shapes, interrupting and intersecting each other and altering their perspectives. Taking this concept I theorised how, together with perspective anamorphosis, the shape and perspective of a room could be altered, giving the illusion it is larger than it actually is, for example.
That is how the first corner effect was created, giving the illusion a corridor is present when in reality there is just a flat wall. The second corner was a continuation from the first, using similar intersecting shapes but on a more vertical perspective. I had it in mind that each corner would be a different experience for each player. So the third and fourth corners contrast somewhat and focus more on optical illusions. I had wanted to paint isometric cubes like this for a while now, and love the effect of a floating ‘Iso wall’. The final corner came from experimenting with isometric cubes and the shape of their silhouette, a hexagon. I found creating contrasting concentric hexagons had quite an effect on the eye. And when painted with anamorphosis, on the ceiling and floor as well as two perpendicular walls, it had even more of an effect.
Their only requirement for this room was that it needed to have a code hidden within the artwork. This posed quite a challenge but after much experimentation, I devised a mirror puzzle. I took a blocky typeface and selected four suitable digits. I split each one apart so there were then two halves of random looking shapes. When these are combined together they make the whole. To turn this into an actual puzzle I took one half of each number, reversed them and cut stencils approximately 30cm in height. I sprayed these at specific positions on the walls and camouflaged them further by inverting them against a wave pattern. For the other half of each digit, I cut the shapes out of vinyl and applied to a mirror. To discover the number, players must stand with their backs to the shapes on the wall and position the mirror so the reflection of the shapes fill the gaps of the shapes on the mirror. Once they have discovered each number they must enter them into a lockbox which reveals the key to open the door to move onto the next room. As difficult to realise as it is to explain. And a fairly difficult puzzle with a 50% achievement rate.
The whole room was a massive undertaking, but an achievement none the less.
Commission for the University of Sheffield Enterprise Department. Anamorphic Isometric cubes arranged and painted in their colour scheme to complement the room they were making over.
Another piece in the entrance Foyer to my studio, replacing the ‘WIP’ piece I created previously.
This was an opportunity to further explore the potential of the anamorphic process. I decided to use isometric cubes as I’ve always enjoyed creating patterns with them, I love the 3D appearance when tone, shade, and tint are used. I did many different designs for this, finally settling on the arrow. Arranging and creating objects with the cubes appeals to my younger self when I used to build model kits. This was also the first piece I was able to design the image to fit the space itself, further amplifying the three-dimensional effect. Looking forward to creating more pieces like this.