© Robbie Nolan, Untitled, from Trees

© Robbie Nolan, Untitled, from Trees

“The poet Keats spoke of how the ‘cold philosophy’ of science would, by explaining the mechanics of the physical world “unweave a rainbow”. In a sense the aim of this series of photographs was to display the falsity of this claim when related to colour. Colour is often thought of as something solid, immutable and objective. Certainly objective colour exists as measured in wavelengths of light, but this does not mean humans are able to view it objectively. The physiology of human sight is one easily susceptible to outside influence, and all manner of environmental factors can affect our perception of colour. In fact recent discoveries made by molecular biologists have found that miniscule differences in the amino acids of eye can occur between individuals, and as a consequence there is the potential for us all to perceive colour slightly differently. Colour as we perceive it has no physical reality of it’s own, instead it exists solely within the neural pathways of our brains.

It is this idea of colour as a liminal space on the threshold of existence which interested me. Inspired by early spirit photographers, with their use of slow shutter speeds and double exposures to create apparitions of the deceased, in these images I have created ‘ghostly’ shapes using coloured fabric and a prism filter to break the light into it’s constuent spectral colours, with no post-production editing. In doing so I have tried to use the camera to pin down the idea of colour as bridge between tangible and intangible, subjective and objective. Despite Keat’s claims against science the very nature of colour means it will always remain an essentially unknowable world – something I have tried to reflect in the work.”

Robbie’s statement

More of Robbie’s work here

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