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Phil Douglis | all galleries >> Galleries >> Gallery Twenty Six : Using reflections to transform reality > Reflection in water (4): Inversion, Ghent, Belgium, 2005
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Reflection in water (4): Inversion, Ghent, Belgium, 2005

Because reflections are a form of abstraction, we are free are to orient our images in any way we wish. In this case, I turned the reflected image upside down, implying that the dark pattern flowing from a corner is smoke from a chimney, which morphs the scene into an inverted medieval cityscape.

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Phil Douglis01-Jul-2007 20:15
Thanks, Ceci -- that "smoke" is critical here. It is the thread that connects past to present. It leads the eye both in and out of the image. If that twisting thread of black reflectance was not here, this image would not have worked.
Guest 01-Jul-2007 04:48
You have such a keen eye for these abstractions, Phil! This is beautiful, wierd, lustrous, strong and seems a pair with the "windmill" I commented upon earlier. I love the "smoke" issuing from the chimney, whatever it is, and how it balances out this image beautifully; and the deep red in the center, juxtaphosed with the black of the building next to it. Lovely image!
Phil Douglis24-Sep-2005 03:11
Thanks, M, for this comment. The blurring, caused by movement in the water itself, further abstracts the image and adds a great deal of energy to a reflection.
Guest 07-Sep-2005 04:39
I had not noticed the black line at first, but I was attracted by the colours and the lines - they look familiar and, because they are reflections, they allow the imagination to figure out what the real buildings/houses look like. It is a bit like reading a book about a story and seeing the movie later. Most of the time our imagination had done a better job with the book than the movie. In this case, I think we are better with the reflection than the regular picture of the houses. I like the sort of "bluriness", suggesting some movement as well. M.
Phil Douglis02-Jul-2005 18:37
I never pardon puns, Alister. I embrace them. Glad this works for you. Each image in this series is structured in a different way. Even though all are reflections, viewers will relate to them with a variety of feelings. Reflections are just another way of abstracting an image, altering reality, and stimulating the viewer's imagination. Man and nature combine here in a game of chance. The slightest breeze changes the facts. I can pick and choose from among those facts. I saw the wavy black line in the water, it looked like smoke, so I decided to build my image around it. I chose the smoke because it made it look like someone was home. Human values? Absolutely.
alibenn02-Jul-2005 08:46
This works compositionally for me, more so than reflection 3. It has a root and as you state the smoke ties in the top left corner. I like this theme though, it is going beyond abstract into a more expressive domain, reflecting, pardon the pun, human values...
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