Optical Illusion Art By James Hopkins

James Hopkins: The Mirror's Mirror at Union Gallery ★★★★☆

Tabish Khan
By Tabish Khan Last edited 29 months ago
Optical Illusion Art By James Hopkins James Hopkins: The Mirror's Mirror at Union Gallery 4
It takes a few seconds for the eyes to process what's going on here. Image courtesy Union Gallery

We first came across the work of James Hopkins in a group show at Scream gallery and were immediately impressed by his work, trying to figure out how he pulls it off with clever use of mirrors.

We've now had the pleasure of visiting a solo show consisting of five pieces at Union Gallery in Bethnal Green. It takes a few seconds for our eyes to recognise what we're seeing, followed by a little more time before it becomes clear how Hopkins has made it happen.

As well as being fun and engaging, they also hint at how not everything in life is as it seems and how reliant we are on our sight, yet it can deceive us. A chessboard symbolises warfare but in this, version pieces appear to be half black half white — just like the real world where morality and warfare are not as black and white as they are in chess.

This small exhibition also contains other subversions, where the top rock of a column levitates thanks to the use of concealed magnets. Yet it still feels in line with the Zen nature of the rock formation.

Hopkins is an innovative artist who has created a set of works that is visually engaging, accessible and intellectually challenging.

James Hopkins: The Mirror's Mirror is on at Union Gallery, 94 Teesdale Street, E2 6PU until 28 November. Entrance is free and the gallery is open Wednesday to Saturday 12pm-6pm.

For more exciting exhibitions see our top 10 picks for this autumn and September. There's still time to catch some of our most talked about exhibitions in August.

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Black becomes white and vice versa in this mind bending chess board. Image courtesy Union Gallery
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As the ladder is scaled the rocks become smaller. Image courtesy Union Gallery
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A glass of water appears aflame. Image courtesy Union Gallery
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A rock floats above the others in this meditative work. Image courtesy Union Gallery
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The full set of works in the gallery. Image courtesy Union Gallery

Last Updated 21 September 2015