Improvising With Light

Seeing the World In Reflection



Posted by Anthony Marshall on Nov 03, 2017

The Artwork above by Anthony Marshall “Reflections 2” Hybrid Media 60x25cm on Textured Aluminium, Victoria Quays, Sheffield. This image is made up of Light reflecting off a refurbished railway bridge over the canal, the subtle colours are from the bridge itself, the blue is from the sky. Once I have finished a piece of artwork I can transfer it onto a wide range of substrates such as wood, metal, glass, ceramic, textiles and art papers. Because of the industrial history of the canal I have chosen to use textured aluminium on this series of artworks.


This is my first blog so I thought it would be important to give 

some idea of how I work as an artist



Anthony Marshall “Reflections 1” 40x40cm Hybrid Media on Textured
Aluminium. Victoria Quays, Sheffield. 



Sheffield Canal Basin (Victoria Quays)

Over the last three years I have been exploring the canal basin in Sheffield and like the impressionist painters I visit my locations many times as it is fundamental for me to form an intimate knowledge and connection to the landscape. I never arrive at a location by accident only by design. I can only create these images when the elements conspire to give just the right conditions, wind speed and direction and quality of the light which is constantly changing through out the year. Put simply I have to get myself to the right place at the right time, whilst endeavouring to understand the local weather patterns, it is the same for all my locations. Sheffield Canal Basin is now known as Victoria  Quays, and is at the head of the Sheffield and Tinsley Canal close to Sheffield City Centre, and dates from 1814. It’s now a mixture of contemporary hotels, offices, light engineering, apartments and traditional canal boats adapted for use as long term living accommodation. Moving further down the tow path away from the canal basin you enter an historical time line, industrial buildings and bridges from the earliest days of the canal through to the prefabricated buildings of the present day and everything in between. 



Anthony Marshall “Reflections 4” 60x60cm Hybrid Media on Textured
Aluminium. Victoria Quays, Sheffield. This image is a reflection of a derelict
building and viewing it in reflection gives it an ethereal and mystical quality
which immediately connects you to it’s past history. You can’t stop thinking
of what lies beneath, the water is constantly moving and in a few seconds
it fades away.


Seeing The World In Reflection

What interests me here is viewing the world in reflection, which fundamentally changes the way I see and understand the environment that I am exploring. I have over the years created many artworks exploring the movement of water, these images draw their inspiration from the extraordinary properties of water. More than two thirds of the earths surface is covered with liquid water. Pure water has no colour, taste or smell. A pinhead-size drop contains about one billion billion molecules, and these strongly attract each other especially at the surface, where their mutual attraction forms a strong skin known as surface tension. Under the right conditions this creates the illusion that the water has changed viscosity, allowing complex abstract patterns and colours to form for a fleeting moment on the surface. These reflections are constantly changing which is both mesmeric and metaphysical, the changing light and wind speed on any given day only adds to the dynamic.




Anthony Marshall “Reflections 3” 80x80cm Hybrid Media on Textured
Aluminium. Victoria Quays, Sheffield. This artwork captures a brief moment
in time when light reflecting off a newly painted road bridge generated
exquisite fast moving patterns of saturated colour on the surface of the canal
It looks unreal but these water reflections never cease to amaze me,
the blue colour is the sky and all the other colours were generated by the
bridge and the boats surrounding it.


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