Still Learning To See

The magic of light splitting

DSC02543One of George Sherwood’s sculptures currently on display at Shelburne Museum splits white light into various colors and plays it back as a veritable light show. “Dichroic” films are shaped into a piece that would be interesting in and of itself but when you add the magic of light splitting, it shifts into a much more fascinating hyperdrive mode. In fact, all of these images are made of a single piece of work!  Note: a similar light-splitting phenomenon and effect can be seen as light strikes the wings of some butterflies or feather of birds, especially those that appear iridescent blue in color.

Unlike the other pieces of kinetic sculpture in this show, “Wind, Waves, and Light,” this piece is mounted indoors, in fact, in a stairwell. While it can be most easily viewed from the two outside windows, it is worth asking a staff member to let you into the stairwell to see it directly, especially from below.


Curiously, when viewed from inside at one particular angle, at least on the day I was there, it appeared mostly in blue tones. These can be viewed as a slide show below.

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A staff member said it is lovely to see it at night as well. I plan to go back and see it again—in any light—because this artist is a genius at playing with light and shape. Who knew?

This entry was published on July 24, 2016 at 10:10 am. It’s filed under John Snell, John Snell Photographer, Summer, Vermont and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “The magic of light splitting

  1. Deborah Leu on said:


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