Untitled (Lens Structure)
Steel, lens, mirror, glass
40cm x 40cm x 30cm
Courtesy of the artist
Aimée Nelson is a visual artist based in Belfast. She graduated in 2019 from the Belfast School of Art, University of Ulster with a First-Class Honours Degree in Fine Art. Aimée is interested in the scientific and philosophical principles of light which she often uses as a subject, material and tool in the process for making artwork. Embracing lens-based techniques, Aimée explores the use of optics within her sculptural and photographic practice, drawing attention to the transformative and seemingly tangible qualities of light. In her work she examines physical reality, consciousness and the fragility of perception, considering concepts that are increasingly relevant to our modern ‘mediated’ world, in which it can often be difficult to decipher what is real and what is not. She playfully experiments with ideas of duality, exploring parallels between light and shadow, visibility and invisibility, interior and exterior, reality and illusion aiming to manipulate the viewer’s experience of light, to play with perception and one’s feelings of self.
Following her degree show, Aimée was awarded exhibitions in FCB Studios, Artisann Gallery, Queens Street Studios and the Royal Ulster Academy 2019 Annual Exhibition to which she went on to win The Mullan Gallery Award for Best Sculpture. Aimée was shortlisted for the Woon Foundation Sculpture and Painting Prize 2019 and exhibited with ten shortlisted artists from across the UK in an exhibition at Gallery North, Newcastle upon Tyne. Her work is in public collections including the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. Aimee was Artist in Residence at Belfast School of Art for the academic year 2019/20 and currently, she is working towards a body of work for her first Solo Exhibition in Ards Arts Centre in 2022.
This work is part of a larger series of ‘Lens Structures’ - a series of steel sculptures that when activated by light, function as ‘machines’ for projection. The structure utilises a third hand tool soldering device, instead holding a spectacle blank and blind spot mirror, both convex optical devices used to enhance vision. The structure also holds a spotlight and a frosted glass projection screen. The work explores the interplay between light and lens, capturing the ‘invisible’ qualities of light. The light of the spotlight is reflected off the blind spot mirror and travels through the lens. The resulting refracted light is captured beyond on the glass projection screen.