Can your eyes play tricks? See things that aren’t there? Draw by themselves? These are some of the questions being examined in the new exhibition Stone Souls by artist Graham Fink. Part of the show explores the psychological phenomenon of pareidolia. This is when people perceive pattern in colour, shape or sound where there is none. It is thought to be something that from the earliest of human times helped people to find stories in the natural world around them to explain a mysterious world, and more recently could be seen in artistic movements like Cubism and Abstraction.
Fink uses this idea in his creative process, finding faces and symbols in the natural world for example, which he then photographs. Fink then reproduces the images onto white marble from the quarries of Thassos in Greece.
But during the exhibition will also run a series of week-long early evening performance of Fink’s ‘Drawing with My Eyes’ which sees the artist use cutting-edge technology to ‘draw’ live, using only the movement of his eyes. This is possible using customised eye-tracking software that the artist has developed in conjunction with Tobii Technology in China. By shining an infra-red light straight into his eyes as he moves them across a screen the technology is able to trace his own retinal movements. These are then recorded by a camera via multi-algorithms and filters, finally allowing these eye movements to be transferred to the ‘canvas’. The final pieces are delicate and intimate portraits made up of fine lines – truly they appear to have been sketched with the lightest of touches.
Stone Souls by Graham Fink is on at Riflemaker gallery until the 28 February