Mirror art

Contemporary mirror art reflections

Mirror piece
Wood, acrylic, mirrors. Height: 18cm, width: 23cm. June 2021

A sculpture formed of two painted wood blocks placed in the angle between two mirrors.

Lit sculpture

Contemporary art sculpture

Crucifix
Wood, plastic, acrylic, torch, Height: 11cm, width: 18cm. November 2020

A sculpture formed from a wood block, plastic hands and a small hand torch.
The work is composed of very simple components (the wood block is a piece of 2×2), its impact here being the result of the lighting. It looks good without the lighting too, of course.

Abstract in acrylic and gouache

Contemporary art primary colors abstract painting

Stripes with smoke
Acrylic and gouache on paper 14cm x 14cm September 2020

An acrylic and gouache abstract painting composed of a square of brightly coloured stripes embedded within a smoke-like form in gouache. The coloured square is revealed through a hole in the paper on which the smoke is painted.

Abstract painting of coloured rectangles

Contemporary art geometric abstract painting

Stacks
Acrylic on paper 61cm x 26cm July 2020

An acrylic abstract painting composed of two separate rectangular areas each with a stack of smaller coloured rectangles embedded within it. The rectangles in the upper area form a ladder while those in the lower area are more brightly coloured.
The amount of white paper on which the shapes are placed is important, as the forms seem to float on the surface rather than the surface simply being the base onto which the image is painted.

Geometrical abstract acrylic painting

Contemporary minimalist art geometric abstract painting

Yellow square blue diagonal
Acrylic on paper 8.5cm x 8.5cm on a 21cm X 29cm sheet. July 2020

An acrylic abstract of a yellow square on a black background, with a blue diagonal. The interior of the square is very dark grey, not black.
The paint is high viscosity acrylic, so it has a slight texture. The edges of the forms in the painting are generally sharp due to the use of masking film. A very small amount of bleed under the film was allowed in places (by not pressing the film too firmly onto the paper) so that a few imperfections could occur, thus preventing the forms being too clinically precise.

Swarm of flying ants

Swarm
Video.  16sec. 2nd September 2018

A video of a swarm of flying ants at the top of Zenor Hill, Cornwall.
The 16 second video is extended by repeating and reversing several times.

Circles and squares – abstract acrylic

Contemporary art geometric abstract

Circles and squares
Acrylic and foil on paper 26cm x 36cm July 2020

An acrylic abstract of circles and squares. Some of the circles are painted on the paper, while others are placed on top of the paper.
The circles are positioned so that there is an underlying semi-symmetry in their positioning, with the line of symmetry being diagonal across the square from top right to bottom left. Hopefully the line isn’t too obvious, making its perception slightly subliminal.

Ants as a superorganism – on an art gallery wall

Contemporary art and science - insects as a superorganism

Art and science – ants as a superorganism
Artist’s impression. January 2020 Based on a digital work from 1990

A proposed art installation or mural showing multiple images of ants crawling across an art gallery wall, with the ants grouping together and coalescing into the form of a single gigantic ant.
The work depicts the concept of the superorganism, in which multiple individual organisms of the same species (in this case ants) interact by a process of synergy to give rise to a collective body that can operate in ways that the individuals can’t. The individual organisms within the superorganism usually display a degree of division of labour, where the individual organisms can’t survive for long on their own. Human civilisation can be seen as a form of superorganism.

Expanding and radiating forms

Expansion I
Digital animation, August 2019.

Contemporary abstract moving image art - expanding radiating cosmic forms
A video still from the work
Contemporary abstract moving image art - interacting forms
A video still from the work

A work from my series of animations depicting radiating forms expanding outwards from a central point of emergence. The work is linked to my interest in the process of creation on a cosmic scale, such as the creation of the universe at the Big Bang or the expansion of a star or other celestial object.
The work is ideally viewed on a large screen.
This work was exhibited in the London Group gallery, Waterloo, London in December 2019 and the Penwith Gallery, St Ives Cornwall in February 2020.

Stage backdrop painting

Contemporary art semi abstract landscape stage backcloth or backdrop painting

Lavender fields
Household paint on canvas. 10ft x 12ft January 2019

At work on a stylised, semi-abstract landscape painting of lavender fields and sunflower fields as a stage backdrop, Zennor, Cornwall.

Flight and freedom

Flight and Freedom
Video.  2min 56sec. November 2018

A video about freedom and its opposite: limitation or confinement.
Freedom is expressed by the unconfined wheeling flight of the crows. Limitation is symbolised by the inert, motionless statue around which the crows are flying.
Pathos is a major ingredient of the work, because both the birds and the statue have wings, but only the birds can fly.
The unconstrained flight of the birds only serves to emphasise the fact that the statue is rooted to the spot.
The work is a comment on the desire of the creators of the statue (us) to have the power of natural flight, and their obvious inability to have it.

The statue is on Alexandra Palace in north London.

Moving image contemporary art about flight, limitation and the desire for freedom
Flight and freedom – a photomontage based on the video above.

Wings of Stone, Wings of Feather – a work about flight

Wings of Stone, Wings of Feather
Video.  2min 13sec. November 2018

A video about flight, showing crows flying round a statue.
Both the birds and the statue have wings, but only the birds can fly.
The wheeling, swirling motion of the birds only serves to emphasise the fact that the statue is a lumpen object rooted to the spot.
The work is a comment on the desire of the statue’s creators to have the power of natural flight, and their inability to have it.

The statue is on Alexandra Palace in north London. It’s probably made of concrete.

Contemporary art -flight - birds flying round winged statue
Crows in flight – a photomontage based on the video above

Earth Bin – environmental art installation

Earth Bin
Sculpture/installation. January 2017

A sculpture showing how I feel the human race is treating the planet – by putting it into the waste bin.
The sculpture consists of a standard kitchen waste bin, lined internally with black material and with a back-lit image of the earth at its base. The result is the illusion that by looking into the bin you are looking into outer space as though through a porthole in a spacecraft, with the earth floating in the distance.

The kitchen waste bin was deliberately chosen as the reciprocal that contains the earth because of its banality, to emphasise how we are depleting the earth’s resources through mundane consumption.

Environmental contemporary art installation - planet earth in a rubbish bin
Environmental art installation: the earth in a rubbish bin

A Leaf Changes Colour in Autumn – Painted Maple Leaf

Contemporary art - a leaf painted blue with red polka dots

A Leaf Changes Colour in Autumn
Leaf, acrylic paint. September 2018

A maple leaf painted blue with red polka dots.
The leaf had fallen from the tree in autumn.
The inspiration for this work came partly from the fact that the leaves on the trees were changing colour in the autumn, prompting me to think of changing their colours in other ways.
In previous years I’ve painted acorns and suchlike in unusual colours.
Like a lot of my work, this work is involved interacting with and responding to the natural environment.

Contemporary art and the environment - a maple leaf painted blue with red polka dots
A detail of the painted leaf.

Random Squares and Concentric Rings – abstract digital art

Contemporary geometrical abstract art - composition of squares and rings

Random Squares and Concentric Rings
Digital. October 2018

Abstract art based on circles, squares and rectangles.
A major compositional feature of the image is the relatively random distribution of squares on one side contrasted with the very enclosed and restrained concentric distribution of the rings on the other side. This is a deliberate contrast between randomness and constraint. The fact that the squares all have their sides horizontal and vertical is a deliberate feature of restraint imposed on the relatively randomly positioned squares.
The rings are not perfect circles. This is partly to disrupt any preconception that they should be perfect circles, especially in an image that’s composed of basic geometric shapes.
The use of squares and long thin rectangles is probably influenced in part by Mondrian and the de Stijl group.

Travelling Glomeris Marginata

Travelling Glomeris Marginata
Video. Lower Rosemorran, Zennor, Cornwall. October 2018

The creature in this video isn’t a woodlouse, it’s a pill millipede, of the species glomeris marginata.
It’s climbing up the outside of a door frame.
I was struck by the way that the millipede seemed to be gliding along its course up the door frame as though hovering slightly above it, as its multitude of legs are concealed. I also like the armour plating, which, along with the hovering, makes the creature look like either a high tech machine or an alien. Or a hybrid of both. The feelers help too.

Cluster flies on a window – insects as art

Cluster flies on a window
Video. 17 sec. Near St Ives, Cornwall. October 2018

When I made this video I assumed that the flies that it features were house flies that had been feasting on a rotting animal carcass concealed somewhere within the walls of the building. The sinisterness of the insects was intended to be a feature of the video.
Since then a bit of research has informed me that the insects were in fact harmless cluster flies (pollenia rudis).
Cluster flies enter buildings on autumn evenings in search of shelter from the worsening weather conditions. Then the following day they sometimes want to get out again, as in the video.
They may enter buildings in small numbers or they may enter in thousands. In the case in the video it was many many hundreds.
The flies live in the countryside, where their larvae feeding on earthworms. They aren’t a health hazard (as far as I know).
Knowing that the flies were harmless and had entered the building seeking shelter rather than being house flies fresh from a rotting corpse in the attic altered my view of them considerably, and I now rather like them, at least on the video. They are an inconvenience though.

I particularly like the way that the flies in the video are moving in an almost choreographed manner. It’s like a little piece of performance art.
The nice calm view out of the window (apart from a bit of wind) is in stark contrast to the dynamic motion of the flies on the window pane.

Minimalist abstract – black square with circle removed

Contemporary minimalist gouache painting - black square with circle removed

Black Square with Circle Removed
Gouache on paper. 30cm x 30cm. June 2018

Part of a series of abstract minimalist paintings of black squares with a circle missing from a corner, in this case along with the part of the square that is separated from the main body of the square by the circle.
This painting is a study of presence and absence. The black square has the quality of a solid, impactful entity while the white circle and top left corner give the impression of absence or negative space.
In other images the black square itself conveys a quality of negative space, suggesting a black void in the centre of the image.

Mirror-based artwork – multiple reflections inside a cube creating the illusion of the word “OXO”

contemporary art mirror cube multiple reflection illusion

OXO Cube
Mirrors, paper, acrylic. March 2017

This is one of my prototypes of a mirror-based artwork that I’m developing.
The work consists of four mirrors forming the vertical walls of a cube, with the mirrored surfaces facing inwards. Each mirror reflects the mirror opposite it, including the reflections in that mirror, so the reflections build up to form infinite reflections (or, more accurately, multiple reflections, as the reflections gradually fade due to light loss).
As well as that, where two mirrors meet in the cube’s corners each mirror reflects the other corner mirror, creating a different set of multiple reflections.

In this artwork the design on the cube’s floor forms this image:

contemporary mirror OXO Cube base

In each corner of the cube the semicircle and angled line in that corner is reflected  in the mirrors to appear to form the word “OXO”.
Each of these words “OXO” is then reflected infinite times in the other mirrors in the cube.
This artwork is titled “OXO Cube”, as it’s just too good a title to ignore.

contemporary mirror based OXO Cube

A low viewpoint looking into the mirror cube, as below, shows the infinity mirror effect at its best.

contemporary art infinity mirror reflections in OXO Cube

Below: a video of the work.