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Possible-ImPossible

The hiding of truth and the construction of “truth” continues to fascinate me as our world becomes more and more deluged with false information which is so hard to separate from what is true. I am also concerned with how people process information when forming opinions and beliefs: do they look beyond the superficial in the information they are using.

The “Impossible Triangle”, also known as the Penrose Triangle, is an optical illusion: it is a 2d depiction of a 3d form that can’t possibly exist. If you look at it superficially, it seems entirely plausible: it is only on closer inspection that you realise that it can’t be real.

The first work in this series, Possible-Impossible, is an Impossible Triangle created in wood with a 3-d glass neon “nail” piercing it. The “nail” creates shadow, making the Impossible Triangle feel more “real” despite remaining an impossibility. For me, the nail is a powerful symbol, both of safety and danger, in this instance relating the frequent contradictions in the validity of information that we are presented with on a daily basis.

imPossible, 2022

Lampwork glass neon, with 24carat gold laminated, wood.
Photographed by Jim Bumby

The series then developed into 3d representations of Penrose’s triangle (an irony in itself): it too isn’t real, it creates a 3d illusion of the 2d illusion. The “truth” is hidden deeper and deeper.

Manipulating the Impossible explores how the “truth” in our lives depends on the angle from which we view it and how deep we look. It is clear that the sculpture is actually 3-d, but it looks like an Impossible Triangle: it is a 3 dimensional “lie” built on the original Penrose 2-d “lie”. The lines in the form are twisted to create this illusion, just as the “truth” can be twisted.

Manipulated ImPossible, 2021

Cast glass, programmed for 3D printing.
Photographed by Jim Bumby

Impossible in Possible  continues this exploration, by embedding an Impossible Triangle inside a “true” triangle. This considers how something can look like the truth but is based on a flawed axiom, rendering it no longer true.

Impossible in Possible, 2021

Lost wax, cast glass, programmed.
Photographed by Jim Bumby

Development to date of my Impossible Triangle work has primarily used 3d printing techniques. I am now working with the Adriano Berengo Studio to develop cast glass sculptures of my concept.