I took these photos a few months ago and they form part of my latest exhibition “Mephisto”. I used inks, dyes and paints flowing through water to provide a glimpse into the places and creatures from Mephisto’s world.

Each photo was split down the middle and mirrored. There was no computer manipulation apart from that. What you see was all captured in camera.

The symmetrical mirroring of the images plays with the viewer’s psychology by inviting them to put their own interpretation on these complex, swirling patterns. As I was developing the series, outlines and contours began to emerge that resembled flames, demons and faces peering out from billowing clouds. Hence the “Mephisto” title.

The convoluted structures and details that manifest as the liquids mix and flow into, through and over each other are almost infinite in their complexity.

That intricacy means that,with each exposure, the particular combination of patterns, colours and swirls which occurs at that instant has never existed before and will never exist again. Each image is utterly unique. Something about human psychology compels us to identify patterns and the symmetry engendered by splitting, flipping and recombining each photo is irresistible to our pattern-seeking minds.

Much like a Rorschach test, what you perceive in these photos is a reflection of the way your mind views the world. Just as every photo is unique, each viewer’s interpretation of that scene will be distinctly their own.

Even after repeated viewings you are likely to see scenes, creatures and objects that you had not identifed before.

Unfortunately the web doesn’t do justice to the photos as you can’t see intimate detail. You need to see them a meter or two across to get the full effect.

More info: garysheppard.com










Hanuman Abides


Behind The Veil

Mephisto suspended

The Gates

The Kiss