Sheep and goats: manipulating visual perception through colour relationships

David Lyons, David R. Flatla

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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Sheep and Goats hides visual messages in plain sight. It is a print diptych which investigates the idea that artwork can be intentionally created to be experienced differently dependent on one’s visual abilities. Each silk-screened/ink-jet print is 84 cm x 112 cm. It is accompanied by a smart device fitted with augmented reality colour vision deficiency simulation and recolouring software.

The collaboration of artist David Lyons with computer scientist David Flatla resulted in prints which communicate unique details exclusively to those colour blindness, while simultaneously containing imagery that those with typical colour vision experience. This was done through the use and understanding of colour theory, artistic principles and computer science applications.

All the artwork is revealed to both audiences through the use of tablets whose software allows the translation of the imagery between the two audiences. The tablets with CVD simulation and recolouring software allow those with typical colour sight to view what those with colour blindness see, and those with colour blindness to gain an appreciation of what individuals with typical sight see.

To indicate engagement of audiences of varied colour vision abilities, Triple Blind reference the circles of the Ishihara Colour Blind Test. The dualistic words ‘heaven’ and ‘HELL’ are used to suggest conflicting perceptions as are the clear varnish over-printed lyrics from the song “Sheep go to Heaven’ by the rock band Cake.

This paper documents the development of the work, its theoretical underpinnings and artistic and social and philosophical implications.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationImpact 10
Subtitle of host publicationencounter & international multidisciplinary printmaking conference
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2019
EventImpact 10 - International Multidisciplinary Printmaking Conference: Encounter - Various locations, Santander, Spain
Duration: 1 Sep 20189 Sep 2018


ConferenceImpact 10 - International Multidisciplinary Printmaking Conference
Abbreviated titleIMPACT 10
Internet address


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