Sunday, May 24, 2009

A face in the crowd






Here's an extreme close up of a face which appears in a picture I made back in 2004.I did it as an exercise...I'd never created such a large and complicated picture before (48 x 29cm), and I wanted to find out if there was a limit to the level of detail and concentration I could give . I soon realised that there was no limit beyond what I was physically able to give.I was at the time working full time in residential childcare and the completion of it took around about 6 months working in evenings and days off. It's actually copied from a photo of the crowd at a tennis match played at Wimbledon in 1981, and I use the picture as illustration when I do talks in schools.

I like to explain the way the eye and the mind perceive images by combining many millions of pieces of information and assembling them in the brain. As you know, the retina of your eye is covered in millions of light receptive cells onto which an image received through the iris and focused by the lens is detected.Each cell carries it's piece of information to the brain where it is assembled into what we recognise as a teapot/cow/apple/approaching train etc...

So it is with my art work...an individual dot is easy to perceive and identify...so are two dots..three...five....but the brain is unable to register 50...100...1,000,000 dots individually, so 'lumps' them all together, the combination of dark/light areas are combined in such a way that the brain recognises them as representing a teapot/cow/apple/approaching train/smiling ambulance man etc....


you see the photo of the face...he's an individual, but put him in a seat with a few hundred others and he is part of a crowd....a sea of faces.So all these various parts combine....and it's difficult to initially tell them apart.It's part of my future plans to create a full colour crowd picture containing people I know.


oh....and can you spot where my elderly tennis fan is in the crowd?

3 comments:

meetmahima said...

N:
just discovered your blog and your work is so fascinating!
you are an incredibly talented and interesting artist!

Bob-kat said...

Cool :)

Having studied biology and psychology I always found the way the eye perceived images and the way the brain interprets these images very interesting.

Tys on Ice said...

3rd row from the front, 4th from the right (mine)...

it took me about 20 mins though...u r patient arent u?...damn.