If you’ve visited the avenues of Sneinton Market recently, a brightly-lit pop-up gallery might have caught your eye. The appearance of glowing, seemingly ever-changing displays on the walls of The Shop – at the northern end of the market’s buzzing creative community – have been something of a mystery.

All was revealed, however, at Nottingham Light Night in February, when hundreds of visitors on the popular city light trail popped in at the pop-up to discover the Infinarty concept. Such was the interest that another exhibition is now taking place on Saturday, from noon until after dark – which is when Infinarty  artworks really come to life.       

Infinarty is in an artistic partnership between retired University of Nottingham professor Terry Bennett and son Sam, who recently returned from New Zealand where their works captivated art lovers at exhibitions including the prestigious Limn Gallery of contemporary art in Auckland. 

Infinarty itself is hard to explain. Think colourful multi-layered abstract patterns presented in boxy white frames which double as hi-tech light boxes, illuminating the various layers in each unique piece with ever-changing colours.

The Infinarty instagram page describes the immersive experience that is produced as a result of “the unpredictable, seemingly chaotic interactions between pigments and light”.

Sam, who is originally from Beeston, provided a simpler explanation for Infinarty’s appeal.

“No two people see the same thing when they look at an Infinarty piece,” he said, “and no two images are the same.”

He added: “It was really exciting on Light Night to finally welcome people in, and fascinating to see how people interacted with the works. I really enjoyed it.” 

The changing colours seem to bring out hidden depths and make shapes appear that weren’t there before, leaving it to the viewer’s imagination to fill in the blanks. 

And then the colours change and the image disappears and becomes something else. 

“When kids come in I ask them what they can see. And the response is amazing. They’ll tell me they can see a face, a fish, a swan, one even said a ballerina”. 

Sam adds: “I actually give my own names to the pieces hanging up based on what I see in them. One of them I call ‘ET’ – because there’s a shape in it reminds me of the film. Another one I call the ‘blue meanie’. Everyone who comes in seems to have a favourite.”

Visitors can control the colours via an app on their phone that communicates with the light box via Bluetooth. The colours will also react to sound. The technology, which was developed by Sam in conjunction with a leading lighting designer in New Zealand, is pretty impressive.

As darkness falls, Infinarty comes into its own. Which is why Sam wants to showcase the art as the sun goes down. Saturday’s exhibition is what he describes as “a return to the light” following the Nottingham Light Night success. 
“We’re opening at noon so people can see Infinarty in its daytime state,” said Sam. “Later on, when it gets darker we have some DJs lined up to add an extra dimension. Spring is just around the corner and the timing was right to put on a show. Infinarty is about light and we want to celebrate that.”          
And, after a long gloomy winter we all need that, don’t we?

* The Infinarty event is at The Shop, Sneinton Market Avenues, off Gedling Street, on Saturday from noon. It also features art by local artist Danny Roberts. See infinarty.com for more details.