Optical Illusions

Term: 2 Year: 2012

We had been looking at the fine detail in MC Escher’s work and noted how some of the lines appeared to move on the page. We were able to source other pieces in books and magazines which gave a similar effect so we decided to attempt to duplicate the idea.

Using A6 paper folded into small rectangles, we brainstormed several patterns, one in each rectangle, keeping the lines close together, crossing some over others, adding shapes etc. When an idea didn’t work, we moved on to the next rectangle with a fresh idea. Once we were happy with several of our patterns, we prepared our A4 piece of paper by tracing a circle and dividing it into segments. Each pattern was then carefully drawn with fineliners until the circle was complete. The dividing lines and the circumference of the circle were enhanced with a bolder black marker and this piece was photocopied onto acetate. A split pin joined the two pieces together at their centre and the work was mounted onto a black background.

Our work was displayed with an invitation to the viewer to rotate the upper piece in order to see the lines appear to move on the piece. This activity created a lot of interest with the children. They were thoroughly absorbed in making their patterns as effective as they could, keeping the lines close together and filling in the whole of each segment. They particularly enjoyed moving the acetate around and being able to engage with each others work.

Suitable for Level 3

Beverley Hills Primary School