Posted on: Monday, 5 December 2016


Here are some pictures from the French Art school facilities 


Through Edwin and Tracy we were given the opportunity to work with the musée des beaux arts in Tourcoing. On our first night we met the French students that myself and Tori would later be grouped with for our project within MUba.
On our first morning in Tourcoing, MUba we spent time looking around the exhibition in the museum. The way in which the gallery was curated was different to what I had seen before what with the contrast of classic and modern art.

Then in groups we had to come up with an idea to present to the team of curators, and the tutorial staff. We decided upon the idea of creating and APP we called : 


In which you are able to download the app at reception and then as you walk around the gallery you are able to scan your phone over a piece of your choice and this opens a dropdown link allowing discussion from everyone who has scanned the same painting. Allowing for discussion to a wider audience than currently in the gallery. 

Posted on: Monday, 24 October 2016

Positioning paper one... Find Something In The Nothing.

So why colour?

Colour has an extraordinary capacity to create powerful psychological effects on its viewers - a power that artists can manipulate for their own ends.

The use of colour in art has of course come a long way over time. Colour from the times of Picasso and Van Gough has really evolved from not just being able to look at it on a canvas but now we can be fully immersed in it. Rothko's work started the idea of immersive colour but Turrell has found a way to use colour that was almost unimaginable even 50 years ago. The idea that we can take colour from something that is presented to us and alter it so that we almost become part of that colour itself, is a recent concept, and is developing year on year. It seems no exaggeration to say that art has, as yet, only found the tip of the iceberg in terms of what is possible with immersive colour. The idea and concept of the Ganzfeld Effect and the development of art work using it as an underpinning principal is still in its infancy. It seems likely that in the years ahead it will be transformative to our collective understanding of not just what it means to ‘see’ colours, but what it means to truly experience them.
With regards to physiology, studies have been carried out that looked into the effect colour can have on the body - for example changes in heart rate or muscle function have been investigated with varied findings (Gerard, 1958; Wilson, 1966; Hustmyer 1974). Additionally, in a study carried out by Jacobs & Suess (1975) it was found that when participants where fully illuminated in different colours (yellow, red, green or blue trialled) anxiety levels changed. It was found that red and yellow groups were tenser than when compared to blue and green groups.

Further studies have been carried out that look into the Ganzfeld effect when immersing participants in a full field of colour. The Ganzfeld effect is German for 'complete field' which is designed to create the absolute loss of depth perception in a viewer. This can be caused by what is described as “exposure to an unstructured, uniform stimulation field” (Metzger, 1930). Most commonly referring to looking into an unbroken field of colour when spoken about in studies relating to vision, the brain begins to try to make sense of the uniform colour field that is seemingly never ending. The brain begins to cut off the unchanging signal from the eyes and a flickering occurs  that appears to begin as black spots in vision (Pütz, Braeunig & Wackermann, 2006). However, in some cases the black spots then begin to form geometric shapes as if the brain is tricking the eyes into seeing things within the colour field that make sense, rather than the boundless colour (Wackermann, Pütz & Allefeld, 2008). It is therefore clear that colour does have an effect on people. As of yet there has been no perfect answer for what specific colour does what exactly and why colours actually have these particular effects. The only thing that is clear from the research is that colour does indeed have a large effect on people. It has therefor been suggested that more research into the effects colour can have on people should be carried out to gain a more rounded picture of why and how these effects take place.

As such I have been creating my own version of the Ganzfeld experiment to further my own personal understanding of what colour means to me. This experiment requires you to cause yourself temporary sensory deprivation, and be immersed in an uninterrupted field of colour. In order to do this you much apply a set of headphones that are playing white noise, apply half a ping-pong ball to each eye, taped down. Then once laying down in a comfortable position, shine a light, of your desired colour onto your face. The ping-pong balls act as an object that filters the light to your eyes and visually what you see after a few minutes is the uninterrupted colour. The idea is to try to lay for around 40 – 60 minutes to fully experience it, however effects can occur from as early as 8 minutes in.  I have so far carried out the experiment once on myself with just one colour. I am continuing to collect equipment in order for me to get a variation off the colours I desire. I don’t wish to say too much just now on my personal experience doing the experiment. I don’t wish to influence anyone else’s experiences when I (hopefully) convince them to let me do the experiment on them. I’m very interested in hearing about the experience people have and how it may differ between each person. On those that will inevitably have some kind of expectations, through talking to me of what may happen, and those that I will bring in with absolutely no previous knowledge of what to expect. I plan on conducting numerous sessions with people, with as many colours as possible, filming them during the experiment and then having a discussion after to hear about their experience.

Turrell once said “For me it was important that people come to value light. To value light as we value gold, silver, paintings, objects. Its not something that you form with the hands like wax or clay you don’t carve it away like wood or stone you don’t assemble it like welding. And it’s kind of learning your craft, it took a while for me to learn how to work with light so that you really felt its physical presence and came to value it” (Turrell, 2013). I am just now only scrapping the surface of my understanding of what colour truly means, what it means to each individual person on a very rudimentary level, and how I can utilise my experiences doing these experiments in order to inspire and inform my practice.

Gerard, R. (1958). Differential effects of coloured lights on psychophysiological functions. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. University of California, Los Angeles.

Jacobs, K, W & Suess, J, F. (1975). Effects of Four Psychological Primary Colours On Anxiety State. Perceptual and Motor Skills. 41. pp207-210.

Metzger, W. (1930). "Optische Untersuchungen am Ganzfeld." Psychologische Forschung: pp6-29.

Pütz, P., Braeunig, M., & Wackermann, J. (2006). EEG correlates of multimodal ganzfeld induced hallucinatory imagery. International journal of psychophysiology. 61(2). pp167-178.

Wackermann, J., Pütz, P. & Allefeld, C. (2008). Ganzfeld-induced hallucinatory experience, its phenomenology and cerebral electrophysiology.Cortex. 44(10). pp1364-1378.

Turrell, J. (2013). The light inside. www. Last visited 16/01/2015.

Mahnke, F. (1996). Colodr, Environment, and Human Response: An Interdisciplinary Understanding of Color and Its Use as a Beneficial Element in the Design of the Architectural Environment. USA: Published by John Wiley & Sons