Home / Art / InstallationElegant Ceramic Vessels Use Famous Optical Illusion to Animate the Space Between Them

Elegant Ceramic Vessels Use Famous Optical Illusion to Animate the Space Between Them

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To really appreciate Greg Payce’s artwork, you’ve got to read between the lines—or in this case, look between the vases. In 2008, the Canadian ceramicist created an alluring sculptural arrangement called Alumina, in which seven ornate vases stand in a line on a concrete platform. They are assembled in a graceful, alternating pattern of slender and bulbous forms that together, bring his work alive.

The magic of Alumina comes from the optical illusion that it produces. Payce has created a three-dimensional representation of Rubin’s vase, in which a figure (often a face) is revealed through the edges of two forms. Here, the negative space between the vessels produces silhouettes of six female portraits, bringing a whole other facet to the work.

Above photo credit: Grace Nickel

Alumina is just one piece in Payce’s impressive portfolio—much of his work animates negative space in the same way:

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via [Twisted Sifter]

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met and Manager of My Modern Met Store. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.

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