Jonathan Ross Holography Collection

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I have always had a fascination with Cabinets of Curiosities; those prototype museums created by gentlemen and scholars from The Age of Enlightenment onwards, in which all things weird and wonderful are collected together and displayed, in an attempt to organise disparate forms of knowledge into some coherent whole.

I've made my own ones before, from all the treasures of my childhood, the fossils my grandfather collected, the holiday souvenirs, the mementos of past relationships. Putting things in a glass case seems to validate them, to give them a gravitas, to make them worth a second glance.

Hence the Cabinet of Holographic Curiosities. A big bathroom cabinet full of Late 20th/ Early 21st Century optical treasures. Or a load of plastic rubbish, if you prefer

My first decade in holography being primarily concerned with the commercial aspects of the medium, I have an interest in the way holograms can be incorporated into products and a great respect for those holographers who have lent their skills and ingenuity to developing a business from such incredibly challenging and problematic material. I don’t admire them all, of course. Some have produced nothing but low grade scarecrow material that belongs in a landfill site, but others have made little bits of magic from film and embossed polyester and they deserve their place in the holographic museum of the future. In my opinion the best commercial holograms will survive the test of time in the same way that Victorian toys like Zoetropes and kaleidoscopes have, or later delights like photographic flickbooks - to which certain holograms bear more than a passing resemblance.


Part Man, Part Magpie. I think that is a fair description of myself and goes some way to explain my delight in the shiny side of holography. I just love all that twinkly sh*t and I don't care who knows it. And I'm not alone. Put a hologram on something on a supermarket shelf and it will walk off in droves before its identical unadorned neighbour. Look at all the toothpaste these days. And remember all those cereal packets with holograms on? I'm saving them - they're great! Since the advent of ebay I have managed to get hold of a ton of stuff I missed the first time round. The little plastic action figures with holographic inserts - the Supernaturals and Visionaries - wonderfully crafted ephemeral things, far better than most of the ones you see in shedloads at carboot sales. And the CDs with holograms on - the best ones produced by Chris Levine with Applied Holographics or Spatial Imaging with animated dotmatrix or stereogram imagery. A lot of it is borderline kitsch - the mobile phone screen covers and the novelty sunglasses, the sweet wrappers and holographic candy. Some of it is just mad. Take the bottle of Michael Jackson perfume with a hologram of a model of what he once looked like for a label. Or the ‘Hologlam’ false eyelashes in their Roy Lichtenstein packaging - bonkers! But great fun and worthy of preservation. In my opinion. And until I run out of space...

Jonthan Ross and the 'Cabinet'   Photo © Gaynor Perry


Unknown Manufacturers

Some of the items in the Cabinet are by Unknown Manufacturers.
Any help in identifying the holographers responsible would be appreciated.


Site content and images copyright © Jonathan Ross - All rights reserved

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