How do we perceive light, space & colour?


Australian artist Taree Mackenzie creates videos and installations that explore how we perceive light, space and colour. The artist’s ‘Pepper’s ghost’ works stem from the optical illusion of the same name, originally popularised in the 1800s in Victorian stagecraft and entertainment and named after British scientist and inventor John Henry Pepper. Still commonly used in sideshows, theatre and concerts today to create a ghostly ‘apparition’, the effect is created when a brightly lit object offstage is reflected onto a transparent surface onstage, so it appears to materialise in front of the audience. Unlike traditional Pepper’s ghost set-ups, Mackenzie displays her entire apparatus, allowing viewers to see the inner workings of the illusions. 

Taree Mackenzie ‘Pepper’s ghost, wind turners, blue and yellow’ 2018

Taree Mackenzie, Australia b.1980 / Pepper’s ghost, wind turners, blue and yellow 2018 / Acrylic, foam core, steel, reflective tinting, LEDs, motor, paint, wood, vinyl / Reflective screen: 200 x 120 x 7cm; hanging sculpture: 150 x 80 x 80cm; brackets: 120 x 120cm / Purchased 2020 with funds from the Future Collective through the QAGOMA Foundation / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art / © Taree Mackenzie