Stage themed installation uses classic “Pepper’s Ghost” set at Norfolk Arts Centre

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 Royal Polytechnic Institution, Westminster. Professor Pepper's Ghosts, c. 1885 image:

Royal Polytechnic Institution, Westminster. Professor Pepper’s Ghosts, c. 1885 image:


Art installation brings ghost to life at the Norfolk Arts Centre 

Ghost artist, Will Hourigan presents a contemporary take on a 400 year old illusion. The title of the exhibition takes its name from an illusion> technique used in theatre hauntedhouses<>, and dark rides<>.

Using a reflective surface such as plate glass<>, and special lighting, it can make objects seem to appear or disappear, to become transparent, or to make one object morph<> into another. Though its
conceptual origins are in the late 16th century, this illusion was only realized in 1862 when it was used by inventor Henry Dircks, and later John Henry Pepper, to create a ghost appear on stage in theatrical productions. It has since become a significant, though hidden, component of our contemporary experience of museums, theme parks, movie making and even political speeches.

Hourigan’s presentation of ‘Pepper’s Ghost’ takes the form of an interactive installation. The exhibition requires an individual to walk through the built environment; in doing so they activate the illusion and become the ghost in question. The viewer that stands outside of the installation will see the ‘ghost’ of whoever or whatever may be inside. The outcome of this exchange is recorded and projected on the wall at the entrance of the installation. Pepper’s Ghost offers a complex interaction between the built environment, the viewer and video technology.

Pepper’s Ghost is currently running on exhibition at the Norfolk Arts Centre to Saturday, May 31. Gallery hours are Tuesday to Friday and alternating Saturdays, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Will Hourigan was born in Norfolk County and currently resides in Toronto. He has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Integrated Media Studies from the Ontario College of Art and Design and an advanced diploma in Opto-Electronics Engineering Technology from Niagara College. Hourigan draws on his interest and skill in science and technology, and his artistic production has included holographic photographs, installations, and
time-based media productions. Hourigan has exhibited widely throughout South Western Ontario, most recently in Curious Humans (2014) at Waterford Old Town Hall. In November 2006, a series of Hourigan’s holographic photographs were featured in MIX magazine in the article “A Touch of Smoke”.


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