Thermograms of butterflies by Patrick Riley.
The basis of any artistic endeavour is to evoke an emotional
response in the perceiver. This generality applies to every
genre, and Patrick Riley’s interest in visual arts and in music
has led him to analyse the fundamental nature of this
receptiveness in terms of the spiritual content embodied in
the concept of beauty. Important aspects of this analysis
embrace visual symbolism, such as the apparent significance
of symmetry, especially bilateral symmetry, in generating
pleasing patterns, and also the equivalent of musical
harmony present in the patterns created by adjacent
colours. This type of optical information is able to empower
an image with the emotional potential capable of engaging
many layers of conscious thought involved in the visual
response. In this series of images Riley has used colour
filtration in a fashion analogous to the chord structure of a
musical sequence to explore the perceptual nuances
inherent in the symmetrical chromatic images obtained
from thermographs of butterflies.
The Papillon Project grew out of an
aestival encounter with a cloud of

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