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Kaleidoscope U

The Kaleidoscopic Image > The Kaleidoscopic Image

An Introduction

The most essential part of a kaleidoscope is the image. The image is usually created by objects placed at the end of a tube of mirrors. Sir David Brewster himself discovered this image while experimenting with light and reflections. He had placed two mirrors at an angle to each other and had placed a candle at the end of the mirrors. He noticed the multi-reflected image of the candle and thought it interesting but it would be several years before he returned to the idea of a kaleidoscope

The configuration of the mirrors and the objects in the object case allows the kaleidoscope artist to control the presentation of the image. Early artists in fields like painting and sculpture create an image that in its final form remains static through time. In the 20th century, kinetic artists like Alexander Calder developed mobile sculpture with moving parts. The 19th century art of photography became the foundation of the 20th century art form of motion pictures. As technology continues to advance it presents new media for the creative artist. In the 19th century, photography forced the art world to reevaluate the recorded image. With representational work competing with the camera, the modern artists began to record the inner worlds that the camera could not reach.

The kaleidoscope artist works across many areas of traditional art forms as well as pushing the boundaries into a new form of its own.

The kaleidoscope artist creates a kinetic image that continually allows the viewer to interact with it. Kaleidoscopes offer a continual display of ever changing images often in a private viewing for one.

The object cells can contain almost anything and can be constructed in a variety of ways. The teleidoscope makes the viewer’s surrounding the object case. Sealed object cases limit the number of pieces that can be enclosed but not the ever changing image. Sealed object cases can be dry or liquid filled. The liquid filled chambers slow the movement of the image and allow for some floating of the image even after the chamber is at rest. Dry cell images move more quickly but will come to a stationary image when at rest. Wheels, wands, trays, bubbles, candles and many object have been used to create a kaleidoscope image.

The object cells can contain almost anything and can be constructed in a variety of ways. The teleidoscope makes the viewer’s surrounding the object case. Sealed object cases limit the number of pieces that can be enclosed but not the ever changing image. Sealed object cases can be dry or liquid filled. The liquid filled chambers slow the movement of the image and allow for some floating of the image even after the chamber is at rest. Dry cell images move more quickly but will come to a stationary image when at rest. Wheels, wands, trays, bubbles, candles and many object have been used to create a kaleidoscope image.

The configuration of the image is controlled by the mirror system. Two mirror systems create a mandala image with multiple points depending on the narrowness of the angle. A polyangular mirror system hinges the mirrors in a way that allow the angles of the mirrors to be changed. Two or more mirrors can be hinged for multiple effects.

 

A straight three mirror system creates a broad field image that spreads out appearing to be reflected infinitely on all side. The three mirrors can be set as equilateral triangles or using other angle configurations to create a variety of images. A tapered three mirror system creates an image that looks like a faceted ball floating in space.

A four mirror system creates a chorus line image. Special multi-mirror systems create images that are asymmetrical or can appear as floating images that have sides that can turn with a mandala image.

 

Some images have acquired specific name such as the “chorus line” or the “parasol” image. Artist have enclosed objects within the mirrors themselves to create unique images. Examples of this are the “Chandala” by Sherry Moser and the “Pinnacle” by Marc Tickle. Images have also been created by altering the reflective surface of the mirrors.

Artists continue to experiment with mirrors within mirrors and other unique angle and multi-mirror configurations. There are many more images to be created through the unlimited creativity of the artist.