PhD Research

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Exploring the optical perception of image within glass




Within the contemporary world 3D film and television imagery is at the cutting edge of visual technology. For decades we have been captivated by the creation of such visual illusions/allusions that play with our perception of the world. From auto-stereoscopic barrier methods, pioneered in 1692 by French painter G. A. Bois-Clair, to the ‘Op’ Art movement of the 1960’s and more recently Patrick Hughes reverse perspective paintings.





By building on these new and old technologies I intend to extend my own practice, which engages with the 2D image as a 3D allusion/illusion in glass, to examine how this type of image can be created and perceived within glass. I will explore theories of optical perception in connection with the binocular recognition of depth and space, in addition to kinetic clues to distance, through motion parallax monitoring, and assumptions about default linear perspective, light and inference within our personal schemata.


-        “Optical illusion” being an instance of a wrong or misinterpreted perception of a sensory experience. The distortion of senses, revealing how the brain organises and interprets visual information. An individual’s ability to perceive depth, 3D form and motion.


-        “Allusion” being a symbolic or covert reference

My practical research will focus on the creation of the 3D image, within glass, and explore the notion of glass as a facilitator in working with and challenging the themes of 3D image perception. I propose to address in particular artistic spatial illusionary methods, reverse perspective techniques, auto-stereoscopic image based systems, Parallax stereograms and Lenticular print and lenses technology


Through building upon my current practice, of working with multiple layered images within cast glass, with more complex and scientific optical methods I intend to explore our perception of image and work with new and old 3D technologies in order to produce a body of work that examines this perception within glass. Initially the imagery for testing will be of a pictorial nature (representational) as a creative methodology, to add structure to the exploration, and this will be reviewed as an on-going part of the research process.

During my research I aim to develop original casting processes that incorporate the optical processes of the past and of today. Continued research is envisaged and is intended to provide a theoretical basis for new glass working techniques being developed which will assist their wider applications within and perhaps beyond the glass community.