About This Project

Martin Barraud


This set of photographs, portraying an ethereal creation of upright glass prisms, stands as a testament to the convergence of science, art, and the ineffable nature of existence. Photographed on set, outdoors, with sunlight the only source of illumination these are what I call ‘pure’ photographs, with only the most essential and light touch post-production. Drawing together the gaps between the tangible and the abstract, the prisms are arranged in a harmonious dance of light and colour, mirroring my contemplation of the human condition, a reflection on the fragmented nature of reality itself. The prisms refract the sunlight into a kaleidoscope of hues. A moment in time has been captured within the fragile confines of crystal clarity. The artwork echoes the Enlightenment era’s fascination with optics and the exploration of light as a metaphor for knowledge. It pays homage to Newton’s experiments with prisms, where scientific inquiry and artistic expression intertwined. The glass prisms hinted at the rationality and order that defined the Age of Reason. Literature and philosophy have also left their indelible marks on the artwork. It resonates with the Romantic notion of the sublime – the idea that beauty could be found in the awe-inspiring and the infinite. The play of light symbolises the fleeting nature of life, reminiscent of Keats’ Ode to a Nightingale, where the transience of joy is likened to a fading rainbow. In the realm of poetry, the glass prisms become stanzas in an ode to the human spirit. The colours, like verses, whisper tales of joy, sorrow, and the countless emotions that colour the tapestry of existence. Each prism becomes a syllable in a cosmic poem, a celebration of the myriad experiences that define what it means to be alive. For me, this work encapsulates a lifelong commitment to blending the empirical with the abstract. The play of light and colour, grounded in scientific principles, became a canvas for emotional exploration. It was a manifestation of my belief that in the convergence of seemingly disparate elements, lies the truest expression of the human spirit. In creating this prismatic artwork, I invite viewers to reconsider their perceptions of reality and embrace the kaleidoscopic beauty that emerges when one looks beyond the surface. The glass prisms stand as both a reflection and a refraction, a symbol of the multifaceted nature of the world and the limitless possibilities that arise when one dares to perceive the world through a different lens.



7th edition