Seeing the Light: an Investigation into Brocken Spectres and Heiligenschein.
The challenge of this residency was to create and present Brocken Spectres which are optical illusions caused by a combination of projected shadow and directed light. The optics of the spectrum, with light refracted, reflected and diffracted within water droplets can be explained by post-Newtonian physics and the phenomenon is sometimes found in nature with the sun projecting a shadow onto a cloud and water droplets creating an apparent circular rainbow. It is thought that Brocken Spectres could be the origin of the halo so it was fascinating to see such a staple of western sacred art being generated in a former church.
The closing exhibition showed all the components of the optical illusion but also succeeded in holding onto the mystery. People standing in front of the large sectional screen (cloud) marvelled that while the shadow included all people the iridescent glory (halo) was only ever visible to the one viewer. Charles said: "There are gaps between the reality, the memory and the photographic image. There is no substitute for the actual reality. This is a special phenomenon which must be handled with integrity - the artwork is no cheap trick".