Can our eyes be deceived? Yes! They can, although there is nothing wrong with our eyes as such but it is our brain that determines what is and what is not existent which leads to our deception. Whatever our brain interprets, we see as an illusion. Our brain makes assumptions with the knowledge we have been educated with, so, what appears to be may not be as it seems. So we are left with the question, “is seeing believing?” (Horizon, 2010, episode: Is seeing believing?)
Take Figure 1 for example, we see the tiles labelled A and B as different colours, but are they? In our minds we know that in Figure 1 the square is checked, therefore the coloured tile after black is white so we assume that it’s supposed to be white. If you move the loose tile from B across to A they are actually the same colour. ‘The checker-shadow illusion’ was created by a vision scientist named Edward H. Adelson of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Figure 1 Checker-shadow illusion
Mauritz (Morris) Cornelis Escher (1898), a Graphic artist, is famous for optical illusions. His inspiration of nature and the natural environment is clearly demonstrated in his work and is quite remarkable; it’s only a quarter of the build of his astonishing work. The most amazing feature about M.C. Escher’s (2006) work is that he creates the deception devised by an illusion. Escher (2006) has worked relatively hard to create the pieces of work that elude us. His intelligence to use mathematical problems to illustrate his inspiration and perception of the world is absolutely astounding. J. L. Locher (2006, inside cover) believed that ‘No artist has ever worked harder to render the visions of his mind’s eye’ than M. C. Escher (2006).
The famous piece that Escher (2006) produced titled ‘Relativity’ (1953) was quite well-known as it eluded everyone in the fact that at the turn of every 90 degree angle the image was the correct way up. Comparison to the colour deception in figure 1, this piece of work deceives your mind in a different way – which stairs is the original one and which are the illusions.
Figure 2 Relativity
The title is briefly describing one of Einstein’s theories: ‘Relativity’ is a two-way theory including ‘general relativity’ which involves gravity and accelerated motion. As you can see that if there was gravity on all four walls it would look like this image. The name is well suited for this particular art of illusion as its description obviously connects to what is happening in the illustration. The genius of this idea is fascinating – each staircase and wall faces a new direction.
Figure 3 is another interesting perception of the world of illusion. Relativity in space and dimensions is what comes to mind when staring at this incredible design. It is similar to Figure 2 in some ways, but the idea of this illusion is to think the impossible – there are several theories about...