Light /Crystal

Light /Crystal

Artist and educator Jo Gane has been exploring the mineral wealth collections at the Lapworth Museum and the way that they reflect and refract light. Using a portable darkroom and silver gelatin photographic paper, Gane shone a light through the crystals and captured the shape of the shadows cast, creating unique photogram images.

Each crystal led to many unexpected images. The angle and intensity of the light and the shape and opacity of the crystal had a dramatic effect on the shadows produced. Some larger crystals that appear hard and solid cast smaller soft, undefined shadows, whilst some smaller, more simple crystals created shadows with high contrast and strong, defined lines.

A selection of the most diverse photograms have been reversed and printed as photo-etchings. The soft shadowy images, made solid again in the embossed edges of the etchings, is reflective of the way that crystals are both delicate in appearance and strong in substance.

Alongside these prints, a new three-dimensional artwork has been produced. A scientific instrument of the imagination, the Refractometer visualises the processes that occur through light and movement. It rotates and flashes within the restraints of the bell jar enclosure, its semi-scientific, intriguing form making reference to people’s long-held fascination with crystals and their properties.

To view a video of the Refractometer in motion, please see the you-tube link here