Catherine Baker

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Seeing the Light, Bonington Gallery, Nottingham - March 2009

Catherine Baker, Anthony Rudman & Haida Liang

Dundry Hill & Maes Knoll Video 2009

This exhibition was the result of an art and science collaboration commissioned by Nottingham Trent University, from an original idea by Dr Haida Liang, of the School of Science and Technology at Nottingham Trent.

The installations were inspired by colour science and modern research into the pigments and techniques used by Renaissance artists.

Light and Colour

For the paintings Dundry Hill and Maes Knoll, with the guidance of Haida Liang, I mixed a few groups of two colours made from different pigment sources, which to our eyes under daylight seem to be the same. For example mixing a purple using cobalt, and then again with Prussian Blue. But different colours reflect different spectral wavelengths, depending on their ability to reflect or absorb light, which will cause them to behave differently under another light source - say tungsten, or florescent. The two mixtures of pigment will then be perceived by eye as different colours. This is known as metamerism. For this show we attempted to maximise the effect of metamerism and explore how light can change the appearance of a painting.

<em>Dundry Hill 2009</em>
<em>Maes Knoll 2009</em>
<em>Dundry Hill & Maes Knoll 2009</em>
<em>Dundry Hill & Maes Knoll 2009</em>
Infrared Imaging

Infrared imaging is routinely used by conservators and art historians to detect the drawings under layers of paint. For the installation with Stanton Drew, we used an infrared-sensitive camera to deconstruct the painting, revealing the charcoal drawing underneath. The painting is from sketches made of part of the stone circle at Stanton Drew, North Somerset. Recently English Heritage carried out a non-invasive survey of the site (using magnetometry) and found concentric rings of buried pits beneath the ground of the main circle. The charcoal underdrawing of my picture depicts the rings. As the spotlight on the installation faded, the camera’s night-vision mode was activated and the infrared image appeared, projected onto the wall next to the painting.

<em>Projected infrared image of Stanton Drew 2009</em>
<em>Stanton Drew 2009</em>
<em>Projected infrared image (left) of Stanton Drew (right) 2009</em>
Colour-Blindness and Colour Theory

Anthony Rudman explored his experience as a colour-blind artist and how he overcomes it through colour theory.