Fantasy and Perspective

Dioramas give a changing view of perspective.

The Maritime dioramas play with your imagination: the scenes in the shallow wooden cabinets draw your eyes into the depths, close is far away, crooked becomes straight, down below appears to be above again

You are fooled by the image you see and a natural appeal is made to the adaptability of everyone's eyes. The way of looking, the correction possibility, and the brain's interpretation do a lot. Fantasy tells you what to see. You see what is suggested as reality.

For example, it is an old trick, used in painting to place an object in the foreground or to make the foreground darker - the so-called 'repoussoir' - and thus bring more depth to the image.

Through centuries of painting and later in photography, we have become accustomed looking at landscapes in a certain way along preconceived lines along which you want to find a familiar image.  Making the dioramas, I like to mix around with that until the work gets a pleasant tension.

In the right setting and with your imagination, you can see a quay, a piece of land, or a coast, instead of just a piece of wood.

But here it goes further; the representation - which is objectively incorrect or certainly not a representation of reality - is fantasized 'together'.

Even the composition of two 'points of view' in one image does not harm the image and is almost logical to look at.

your eyes and fantasy do that 

 The fantasy works well when with a small addition: the weathered painted plank becomes a dizzying distant sky, a sea painted from above is nevertheless a side view, a piece of wood with a pole and a boat looks like a still lake, a reflection of a boat well considered, is not a correct reflection... your eyes and fantasy do that and complete the picture.

The limited depth in the cabinets sometimes requires a solution in that direction, the traditional maritime diorama - the 'ex vote dioramas - also had a half model of a hull and sails, the other half you just fill up to a real image, it is no shortage to your eyes.

Another possibility is to 'press' the model into the panel; make a two and a half dimensional form in which the perspective is only correct when viewed directly from the front.

©2022 Erik Smit,Noorderhoofd 48, 3311 RD Dordrecht 
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