Pepper's Ghost, triangles, cyan and red, an art installation by Taree Mackenzie at ACMI
Pepper's Ghost, triangles, cyan and red, an art installation by Taree Mackenzie at ACMI
'Pepper's Ghost, triangles, cyan and red' by Taree Mackenzie (photograph by Gareth Sobey)
Stories & Ideas

Thu 25 Feb 2021

Taree Mackenzie on 'Pepper's ghost effect, triangles, cyan and red'

ACMI Collection Art Behind the scenes Craft Exhibition Meet the makers
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Taree Mackenzie's art installation gives new life to the Victorian-era invention made popular by John Henry Pepper.

In our new centrepiece exhibition, The Story of the Moving Image, artist Taree Mackenzie has replicated an early special effect that projected ghosts onto theatre stages through light and reflection. Watch as she reflects on the perceptual effects of colour, light and space.


The thing that fascinated me about light and colour is the idea that you mix colours together and you get white that we think of as no colour but in fact when you're looking at white it's like all the colours combined.

My name is Taree Mackenzie. My work at ACMI is Pepper's Ghost, triangle, cyan and red, which is located near the start of the exhibition in the section around light and shadows.

My work is using the effect Pepper's ghost which is an old theatre effect used to create a ghost image on the top of another image. So, I guess compared to a Pepper's ghost effect in the theatre where everything's concealed and you sort of get the magic but you don't know what's happening, as with a lot of my other work I'm sort of more interested in revealing how everything's working to the audience, so you're kind of seeing this effect at the same time as seeing how it's produced. But also because we're so used to seeing a lot of really amazing effects often we just take it for granted how it's made.

I like formulas. I like rules. I like knowing how things work. What's nice about it is it's reflecting light and it's got a real immaterial sort of feel to it.

Colour, illusion and light in The Story of the Moving Image

Experience 'Pepper's Ghost, triangle, cyan and red' in our new centrepiece exhibtion