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Ghost Sculptures

Ghost Sculptures reveal the beauty of natural and social history objects by stripping away their weight, colour and substance leaving only a glimmering form to contemplate and explore. They’re hidden within clear shapes, such as cylinders and cuboids, which when illuminated causes objects made of light to magically appear within.

Ghost Sculptures came out of conversations I had been having with Mike Nix about methodologies and processes of scientific research on a sub-atomic level. The morning after one such conversation The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery contacted me to make work for light night that celebrates the centenary of Leeds’ Sir William Henry Bragg and William Lawrence Bragg winning the Nobel Prize and that responded to ” their services in the analysis of crystal structure by means of X-rays”

The technique used to make Ghosts was developed with Dr. Mike Nix during The Superposition’s ASMbly Lab in September 2013. It works by adding heavy metals to clear resin to change the refractive index.  Objects were cast using this altered resin and when these object had gone solid they were encapsulated inside cylinders of unaltered resin. Refraction is caused by light bending while traveling through translucent substances such as glass, water or clear resin. The denser the translucent material the more it bends. It is the differences of how much the light is bending that makes us able to see the interior objects when  Ghost sculptures are placed under strong light.

In the week proceeding Light Night 2013 we took the technique out of a laboratory environment and into a sculptural/casting workshop. It was far from straight forward and the process is still being refined.

On Light Night 2013, the invisible sculptures were dotted around a dimmed Parkinson Court in University of Leeds. The objects were then viewed, picked up, played with and inspected by the audience using mini LED torches.Mark Steadman from University of LeedsMuseum of the History of Science, Technology and Medicine generously provided the specimens from which the

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