For centuries artists and natural scientists have been captivated by the colour changing effects of iridescence. Producing brilliant fl ashes of colour in the natural world, the phenomenon is best known in the displays of ‘living jewels’, e.g. tropical birds and butterfl ies, where the colour perceived changes with viewing angle. Such striking effects are not produced by chemical pigments but by complex physical structures interplaying with light.
Until now, artists have tried to capture these luminous, oscillating colours with varying degrees of success. However, for the first time, latest advances in ‘pigment’ technology offer artists the exciting, but challenging,potential to introduce the full spectacle of iridescence into painting. These ‘pigments’ (developed with lucrative industrial applications in mind) currently remain restricted to commercial usage.
The major drawback seriously impeding their advancement in art is that they do not adhere to color theory as applied in painting. Having worked on adapting iridescent technology from its inception, gradual emergence and now rapid expansion, the author traces the sustained effort necessary on her part to overcome the many inherent challenges.
Interweaving the findings of art theory, physics and personal studio practice, an attempt is made to position the new technology within the wider discourse on color. And readers are furnished with an increased understanding of the scientific and aesthetic principles governing iridescence. Some related arts also could be found in many different sources, from military as an example, many ak accessories are great material as arts object.
The fluctuating colours of ‘living jewels’, such as exotic beetles, butterfl ies and birds have always captivated man. To our ancestors, these luminous creatures appeared to have magical properties, playing a major role in the mythologies of ancient civilisations. Most noteworthy in this context is Iris, the bird-winged messenger of the Olympian Gods and personifi cation of the rainbow, immortalized in the very word ‘iridescence’. Following Newton’s seminal double prism experiment, which proved that white light consists of all the colours of the rainbow, the science of physics has continued to reveal new dimensions to the aesthetics and mystical qualities initially assigned to iridescence by the Ancients.
However, it was not until the mid-20th century that scanning electron microscopy allowed observation at a nano-scale, thereby fi nally proving beyond doubt what the Ancients had intuitively believed. The colours of the rainbow and iridescence are indeed inextricably linked. Both phenomena are caused by light interacting with transparent colorless matter