This is the third painting that I have worked on from a series by George Sfougaras, in which he explored the creation of two-dimensional imagery on three-dimensional surfaces. The painting is of a local poet, Paul Conneally, and I had the pleasure of being able to interpret the art work as I chose in order to design and build bespoke lighting to accentuate the 3D effect.
In this case, there are three diagonal additions to the surface, of triangular cross section. These additions are hardly noticeable when looking at the art work directly from in-front, with omni-directional lighting. However, when viewed, or lit, from an angle, interesting visual effects can be observed. For the previous works, the purpose of adding lighting was to create shadows. Here, the purpose is to brighten and darken alternate edges in order to change the appearance of the work.
My first thought was to have what I would call “stadium lights” – supports attached at the top-left and bottom-right corners, projecting towards the viewer, with a bright lamp attached that pointed towards the centre of the painting. This would allow light to be directed to the top face of each triangle, or the bottom face, or both. However, I preferred to keep the whole mechanism within the frame if possible. This makes the finished work more practical to locate and just seemed a “Cleaner” method.
I wanted to experiment with different lamp combinations, so I created a cardboard version of the artwork so as to test out ideas without damaging the actual artwork.
After experimenting with a number of combinations, I decided to place lights flat against the inside of the frame, at right angles to the viewer, shaded so as to light each face of the three diagonal bars separately. This should allow the effects of light appearing to come from above, from below, and highlighting the eyes or the mouth.