Figuring Light 2, Colour; Shifting Boundaries




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De Montfort University



Peer reviewed


‘Figuring Light 2: colour, shifting boundaries’, exhibition co-curated by John Lancaster and Dr Richard Davey. The exhibition is the second in a series of thematic shows that aim to explore and indentify two key areas of research in Lancaster’s practice led research. The ineffable quality of light that is generated through colour, and the ambiguity of interpreting the figure –ground relationship in what Wittenstein referred to as ‘change of aspect’

Lancaster is the lead researcher in this research project, taking responsibility for selecting the artists and their work, locating the venue; publicity and funding for the project. The collaboration brought in Dr Richard Davey’s expertise as a curator and writer in order to discuss and interrogate ideas and to introduce artists and their work for consideration in selection for the thematic show. Davey also provided the invaluable essay for the exhibition catalogue that encapsulated our discussions.

1The ‘Change of Aspect’ in Lancaster’s work comes out of his long-term research interests into visual perception and the visual experience. The construction of a rigid geometric structure (interlocking circles) and the repetition of an imposed grid of brushwork is to some extent reconstructed and reconfigured through the orchestration and experimentation of colour. The result of this painting process is to ‘release’ a visual rhythm and movement out of its dormant state. The three additional artists that make up this thematic exhibition were invited to participate in order to investigate, analyse, and interrogate through individual art works as well as through relationships has helped to add to the knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of this particular topic.

1.Ludwig Wittenstein, Philosophical Investigations, 3rd ed., trans. G.E.M. Anscombe (Basil Blackwell, Oxford, 1968) pp196-198. He observed that, flashing of an aspect on us seems half visual experience half thought’ p197.



abstract painting, colour, perception, interpretation and meaning, figure ground relationship, beauty, pleasure


Lancaster, J. and Davey, R. (2011) Figuring Light 2, Colour; Shifting Boundaries


Research Institute