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Optical illusion exhibit inspired by TV show 'Friends' launches in Glasgow

Optical illusion exhibit inspired by TV show 'Friends' launches in Glasgow

An unusual optical illusion exhibit has opened in Glasgow inspired by the hit TV series Friends.

Created by artist Oliver Braid, the weird and wonderful techniques of illusion and distortion play tricks on the curious through a series of installations.

At the heart of the exhibition is an Ames room, built by Oliver, which plays with perspective to create an optical illusion.

Named, The One Where We Wonder What Friends Did, viewers look through a peephole into a room where everything inside appears to be in perfect proportion. But if they then see two people in different parts of the room one will seem huge and the other tiny.

  (Gillian Hayes)
via STV via STV

Inside the room are five replicas of works by artists Oliver knows, with each piece distorted to help create the illusion – something people only realise when they go inside.

Fans of the US TV series Friends, which began 20 years ago and ran for a decade, will also recognise a few key aspects of the room’s décor from the hit show - from the purple walls to the bright yellow picture frame that once hung proudly on Monica's flat door.

  (Bright/Kauffman/Crane Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television)
via STV via STV

Oliver said: "There are no names to identify the people whose work I’ve replicated, but people who know young artists in Glasgow will be able to identify several of them.

"I’m very interested in what happens when an artist curates work by other people and then introduces their own work.

"So, for this exhibition I deliberately chose to replicate work by people who are friends of mine and who have influenced my own practice over the years."

Oliver, who was born in Birmingham, came to Glasgow to study at the school of art because of the quality of the city’s artists. He has had solo exhibitions across the UK and this will be his largest to date in Glasgow.

  (Gillian Hayes)
via STV via STV

The exhibition will tie in with the Wasps Open Studios Weekend on October 3, which gives the public the chance to look round the impressively regenerated former tobacco factory with its 77 studios and 200 artists.

Oliver will also be running a Saw Your Child in Half workshop to introduce children to the magical world of illusion, where kids can help decorate a magician’s box, then have photos taken with their families doing the famous trick where someone appears to be cut in two then put back together.

Oliver said: "It’s a fun way to start learning about things like illusions and how they work.

"I wanted to do something that will hopefully be memorable and fun as I think that’s a good way to get young people interested in art.

"It’s often having quite an extreme experience, like I did when I saw Sensation and it was the first major exhibition I’d ever been to, that really makes an impression."

  (Gillian Hayes)
via STV via STV

The Wasps Open Studios events began in 2002 and have attracted 35,000 visitors over the years, as well as generating around £350,000 for the Scottish economy.

The events are free, though a small charge is made for some workshops.

Did you know? The quirky gold frame on Monica’s purple door was originally a mirror that broke, so they used it as a frame around the peephole instead.

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