Optics and Newton's Wheel
In 1704, Sir Isaac Newton published Opticks in which he emphasised his rejection of hypothetical reasoning in favour of deductive and inductive thinking from experimental evidence. As he said at the very beginning of Opticks, “My design in this book is not to explain the properties of light by hypotheses, but to propose and prove them by reason and experiments...”
Three hundred years later, 2015 is the International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies adopted by the United Nations that aims to highlight the importance of light and optical technologies for the future and for the development of society.
The scientific apparatus invites the viewer to spin the wheel informing them inductively through experimentation of the superposition of colours into white light via the experience. This principle is essential in all modern light-based technologies. The medium of glass facilitates the combination of Newton’s original colour wheel principle with the transmissive optics utilised in these technologies, where glass is a fundamental material.
In June 2013 with the assistance from an ArtStart Grant from the Australia Council for the Arts, I travelled to the Corning Museum of Glass, the world's largest glass museum in Corning, NY, USA. Since glass is a material that draws from both art and science, it is during this time that I began researching glass in industry and looking at scientific instruments including navigational equipment, telescopes and slide rules. My current research involves the interpretation and perception of space using methods of mapping and measurement in the sciences and in different industries.