Kaleidoscopes have been around since 1815 when one Sir David Brewster developed them. Already at their time they proved to be a huge success, with over two hundred thousand sold in London and Paris in just three months. Still today they are fascinating for old and young.
A proper kaleidoscope is ‘an optical instrument in which bits of glass, held loosely at the end of a rotating tube, are shown in continually changing symmetrical forms by reflection in two or more mirrors set at angles to each other. A kaleidoscope operates on the principle of multiple reflection, where several mirrors are placed at an angle to one another. Typically there are three rectangular mirrors set at 60° to each other so that they form an equilateral triangle, but other angles and configurations are possible. The 60° angle generates an infinite regular grid of duplicate images of the original, with each image having six possible angles and being a mirror image or an unreversed image.’
I have always been fascinated by kaleidoscopes, and even more so by their endless mathematical possibilities. To me, they are mind-boggling and deeply soothing, probably as well as many kaleidoscope images do reflect mandalas.
Mandalas are deeply rooted in Indian religions but forms of them can also be found in christian architecture and art. Over the last century, mandalas have made their way into western psychological interpretation, thanks to Carl Jung, the pioneer in the exploration of the unconscious through art making.
While mandala and kaleidoscope inspired images in colouring books and the painting and drawing of them is popular in both art therapy classes and for the art lover at home, this digital age has also given us a gazillion of plug-ins and photo-effect apps to turn any and every photo into a multitude of artworks.
My kaleidoscope collection is inspired by the mathematical rules on which kaleidoscopes operate. They are all created from an original photograph, taken by me, and then applying a number of layer effects in Photoshop, to create an image that could represent itself if we were looking at the original scene through a kaleidoscope. Many times, my creations seem to be having a tendency to want to be mandalas, too, and as there is no doubt in the balancing-process of the psyche when it comes to mandalas, I let them. This is a creative process, each image is worked on individually, no pre-fabricated action or filter is being applied.
My aim is to create an image that gives the colours, the look and the feel of the original photograph.
I’m hoping that they appeal to everyone who loves science and art, and has a taste for the quirky.
Small prints are available through my store, but large acrylic prints have proven to be popular. They do look stunning in large, if I may say so myself 🙂