Milkwood residency September 2011

Again well after it has finished here is the report from the Milkwood show back in Sept/October 2011.

The residency was split into two parts. The first part was an experimental arts science laboratory where I gathered data on peoples responses to a range of pseudo scientific experiments. Key in this was the collaboration with Georgie Powell, PHD student at Cardiff School of Psychology. Georgie had been working on a project investigating the stability of coloured afterimages.

Using Georgie’s expert advice, I was able to create complimentary coloured after-images from exposure to a coloured stimulus, which were far stronger than I had ever seen. With the help of a friend and his soldering iron and the acquisition of two decommissioned laptop monitors, I made linked light pieces for the show.





When the green / blue circle went out a powerful orangey colour appeared and vic versa when the orangey red cross went out a powerful green / blue colour appeared. For me this piece was important in highlighting the illusion of colour. Emphasising the fact that colour does not exist in the world, but is imposed upon the world by our perception. Colour exists within us and not without. The experience of colour is a sort of visual coding that is applied to light of different wavelengths… but oh what a spectacularly beautiful and emotive coding!

In addition to this, I collected data on peoples music and colour associations to use in the ‘Made in Roath’ Conservatory project, already documented in this blog.

Dotty Illusion at Milkwood Sept/Oct 2011

The second part of the residency was an opportunity to show the remaining works from the degree show in Swansea, in Cardiff. Allowing people who had not seen them before to get the chance. For this I wanted to experiment with the installation by turning the basement space red. It gave, what was a dank poorly lit space, a rather cosy womb like feel, the mid tone quality of the colour also ensured the white canvases were not lost and that the plain wood panels stood out equally well. It is interesting that despite red being such a dominant colour it didnt seem to overwhelm the pictures, although it did completely change the mood of the show making it much more relaxed and informal. Interestingly in the Wet Paint exhibition at Newport Museum and Gallery in January 2012, Shaun Featherstone the curator, did a similar thing with the dotty illusion piece, putting it on a mid to dark toned grey background. Many thanks Shaun, it looked great.









The exhibition/residency was also an opportunity to let people play with the Anblickspiel dominoes and invent their own rules for the game, as well as showcase the first of the new series of works. These new works feature random, or chance arrangements of simple blocks with coloured surfaces. These arrangements are created by dropping the blocks onto a gridded board and then mapping them into a computer based drawing programme before painting from the modelled arrangements. In an added level some of the faces of the cubes are left blank. These faces fluctuate in the viewers perception becoming part of the cube and the background at the same time. These lead to a theory of mine that suggests that spatial ambiguity is a way to highlight spatial awareness and make a piece more visually interesting.

The first of the new works exploring composition colour and spatial perception


About Phil Lambert

Visual artist based in Cardiff
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