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Black and white photograph of a reishi mushroom mirrored to achieve a pareidolia effect.
Mushroom art, can you see faces in this artwork?
Patterns and shapes created mirroring images of a reishi mushroom
Pareidolia example using a mushroom gathered from a park in Kuala Lumpur.
Symmetrical patterns using a reishi mushroom.
Textured pattern and shapes created by mirroring a single photo of a mushroom.
Repeating patterns producing a pareidolia effect.
Mushroom texture photo in black and white.
Pareidolia effect, mask photo in black and white.
Reishi mushroom mirrored photo.

Pareidolia effect examples

The subjects used in these artworks are mushrooms. An intermingling of the reishi and common wild mushrooms harvested from the Perdana Botanical Garden, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Through a dance of trial and error, I discovered that the cap of the reishi mushroom provided the best pareidolia effects. Whereas, the wild mushroom photograph when mirrored and repeated made a captivating otherworldly alternative universe.

Geometric patterns and shapes

In this series of imagery, I’m also experimenting with symmetry and balance. A single black and white photo is mirrored along the horizontal axis. If the arrangement of the elements on both sides of the center is interesting. I’ll further explore this with more repetition. Some of the artworks shown here are a single photo repeated up to eight times, and others only twice.

Pareidolia effect

The pareidolia effect is a theme I’m exploring in my art practice. As I enjoy making geometric shapes and patterns out of randomness. Through experimentation with subjects of all types, I’ve found organic materials to be the most fascinating. Do you see faces in everyday objects? I’d be interested in hearing what you see within the artworks included in this blog post. I see various shapes and faces that are pleasing. Yet, in some of the works the face shapes are scary.

Interestingly, many pareidolia objects not only resemble faces but also evoke specific mental or communicative content; for example, the facade of a building might appear to be staring back at you, and a bell pepper might have a happy look.

Quote from a study published in the journal Psychological Science.

For more pareidolia effect examples these artworks might be of interest.

Pareidolia and creativity
Tahnia Roberts ©2021

Tahnia Roberts

Author Tahnia Roberts

Tahnia is a visual storyteller who uses photography to explore, investigate and document her surroundings. An avid collector of found objects which frequently become still life compositions. Black and white photography is her preferred medium. Born and raised in New Zealand, she currently resides in Kuala Lumpur - Malaysia.

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