A personal view on Art in Aveiro

Art in Holography

Light, space & time

From June 26, and  to September 30, 2018


The  city  Museum  of Aveiro  and the University of Aveiro, Portugal –  present an inspiring exhibit of  historical and  advanced contemporary artworks using multimedia including holography.

Written by Odile Meulien Öhlmann, Curator and Collector



Margaret Benyon, Secret Sacred III
Margaret Benyon, Secret Sacred III


When the time speaks and shows astounding transformations between some historical works of Margaret Benyon selected by Andrew Pepper from the Collection of Jonathan Ross, and international contemporary artworks.  There, a new generation of artists are presenting a wide range of mediums from sculpture, drawing, painting, photography, film, computer generated images in combination with holography…for the pleasure of visitors…

If I say holography, what do you say?

“Green and red images… frozen movement in space.. Leila in star war… projection… you tube… This politician in France who appears in 3 different places at the same times… laser and physics…. Hum.!!…and artworks ????”  And how many of these answers are correct? All and none.


Mary Harman, Anthropos


Pearl John, Passing time, a distant memory


It was a time

Certainly, red and green holograms have been done at the beginning, it was the color of the first lasers, and artists could just record still objects because of the exposition’s time on the photo sensitive plate.  Then, we had rainbow hologram, and thanks to the pulse laser we could record life objects. Multicolor holograms followed. Now, true color and animated images can be recorded, as well as digital hologram. Of course, still few artists dare to work with this media. Why? First, it is difficult to find a place to receive a teaching.  Second it is hard to access a lab and its equipment to create a work, and third… to pay for!

Richard Bruck, Imperfectly Dark Chamber
Richard Bruck, Imperfectly Dark Chamber
Andrew Pepper, Light Wedge
Andrew Pepper, Light Wedge









August Muth, Quantum Weave
August Muth, Quantum Weave
Amélie Petit Moreau, Geometrical Composition









The Media as a source of inspiration

At this exhibition, you can found different kinds of artists. Some of them work with the media since 30 years. They know all about the media, and because it has been difficult to live from this art, they have been involved in many others works, like teaching, but also multimedia design, working in physics, in digital industry, and so on. So these artists have an enormous experience, most of them have a lab and use it in their new creation. On the other hands, we see arriving new and young artists, mainly coming from the art scenery. Somehow, they met the holographic image through exhibitions or pictures of exhibitions. Either they access a teaching through university or ask support and training through an advanced artist with a lab. The places are rare and not really advertise so difficult to find, this mean that these people are really motivated to work with this media.  We also find already established artists who want to explore the media as a source of inspiration for their other work, as an experience. They mainly have a concept in mind and ask a lab to work it out with them.

Setsuko Ishii “Fragment of Nature”

Margareth Benyon has been a pioneer in visual art of holography and a great example for other artists who followed.  Some years ago, In the Museum of Grey, in France, an exhibition presented how Dali has been exploring in his sketches the many perspectives offered by the  holographic model of the universe. These experimentations were much more than what we see just see in his multiplex work with Lloyd Cross. Other artists, like Bruce Nauman,  (now in exhibition at the Schauland in Basel, Suisse), or James Turrell,  artist of light (presently exhibited at the Museum Frieder Burda in Baden Baden, Germany)   have been more using the media hologram without digging deeper into it, as an experience.


How real is reality, relations to objects

Hologram like no other 3D media let you experience physically time and space. The image of light is floating in front of you, questioning our perception. This is why many artists work their concept with objects. In this exhibition, objects are pretext.  In the Rock of Richard Bruck the image is so realistic that we believe the Rock gives birth to an organic structure. The resolution acquires in the Rock renders the volume and the structure of the matter in a nice transparency, increasing the credibility of the presence/absence of the rock.


Melissa Crenshaw, Traveling Optics Vanity Series


Melissa Crenshaw collected in a very female way optical elements she is using to make her holograms. By placing the optical tools together with the holograms in a Vanity Box, she opens a discussion between the male toolboxes and female boxes of cosmetic or recall for the memory of all information stores in a cosmetic wallet.


Betsy Conners
Betsy Conners, Light Oceans II


Betsy Conners has created fishes physically present with visually encoded holograms of plastics bottles and all kind of waste You discover these plastic waste when getting closer as when you  need to observe the sea to find them, calling for a cleaner and more respectful relation to the nature.


Colors and  Multimedia

Walking along the exhibition you will be surprised how many colors  and media you will encounter. Indeed, today artists access a palette of colors, up to grey tones like V. Woozniak  O’ Connor  who uses it to render some subtle sense of place like in cartographic visualization. Emotional expressions impose themselves in the work of  Pearl John showing  the memory of her family and using photography, video and Computer Generated Imaging.   Francois Mazzero bridges time with representation of Dali in achromatic transparencies like his marked souvenirs of Dali. Tove Noorjahaan Dalenius  shows the print of a flat surface  hogels  (holopixels) to create an apparent dimensionality of a child sitting.  Digital work supposed to master programs like cinema 4D which indeed are not very often accessible to artists, although young artists have generally  a fully multimedia knowledge, being able to paint, do video, cut film and work out  images with computer programs.  Nevertheless, the universities which teach holography are very often in physics, where artists do not really go.  Creation in the field of holography has a lot to do with exchange and support between artists themselves.


Variety of expressions

Entering space, experiencing dimensions are some of the fascinations which remind in mind of visitors when seeing holograms, capturing the light, drawing with light, exploring the light is one of the key motivation of the artists. Andrew Pepper wooden block is using light as the unlimited traces on the ground. Visitors are invited to move around the works as well as the wooden block experiencing the many perspectives of the traces changing position with your own movement. Using the same lab, other artists  was playing with geometry in space like August Muth or Amélie Petit Moreau  inspired by a knowledge in lithography  or  surface  and plain color like  Michael Crawford.


Experience Light

When Setsuko Ishii shows the spatial movement of colorful nature, the holographic media is for her the most appropriate one to escape the boundary of the linearity of other media. In many of these artworks, the light recording media becomes the multidimensional printing support where she can unfold her concept in a many components composition.  Light is in our everyday life, it is everywhere. Also we do not see it, we forgot it.  A wonderful experiment proposed by late artist Fred Untesher, was to open and close the light in a dark class room, continuously asking to his students: “what do you see?”. It was always taking time before they were able to say;  “we are seeing light!”  Light is the transmitter and the information of what we see and believe we see.  Mary Harman shows a blue light above her sculptures of people trapped in a box like another level of consciousness. Dietmar Ohlmann’s works embrace a whole craftwork of light and matter. Although,  his work seems more accessible to us, he gives  a feeling of human touch, as he gives place to the imperfection of the hand drawing „E=mc2 (masse-energie equivalence) and nails along with  a luminous circle of faces screaming. In “Heilung” the painting on canvas  is reflecting  and combining in another dimension the form shaped by light of the holographic Human body transformed in Hyperspace. The wooden piece seems to ground us back to the earth


“For new Education goal”

“Art in Holography” is an exhibit which shows the tremendous evolution of the art scenery using this media. For me, who has been curating exhibitions since 30 years, this exhibition   presents artworks to be experienced as “ Multi-Dimensions Art”.  It follows  a positive public education strategy of art and science. Pedro Pombo Director of Fabrica Cienca at the University of Aveiro explained how the late former minister of science and Professor of Physics initiated the financial support for the beginning of Holography Educations at Schools. Today, creating further training center, and exhibitions should be the new educational goal of our communes, and politicians. We need   to support the demands of artists and young people looking for new experience,   facilitate the exchange between the art and the many media techniques, especially as we now know how much the holographic image help training in 3D visualization and creativity. New media open new perception of the world, new opening of the mind and feelings.



Dietmar Öhlmann, Between Art and Science = mass–energy equivalence in the holographic scream


Dietmar Öhlmann, Heilung


For Further information about holography, art and education, contact Odile Meulien. She  Curator of the museum of Holography in Washingotn,DC, Director of Syn4D GmbH, Braunschweig, Germany (synthetic digital Hologram), Author of the “Holographic Thinking”, “3D for education” and many other papers, Collector and organizer of educational programs in Holography and 3D  Imaging at the French German Border where she lives since 9 years.  Odile@artbridge.info



Dietmar Öhlmann und Odile Meulien

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