Project Description

3D Printed Flys Eye Lens Array for Park Penallta Mural Art 

Andy O’Rourke is a community artist working with thousands of people helping them create all manner of artwork, everywhere from Aberdare to Abu Dhabi. Alongside his community practice, Andy has continually developed his skills and interests in mural art, illustration, anamorphic art, augmented reality and light painting photography. Now, 3D printed optics and visual art merge into a stunning piece of mural art for Park Penallta, South Wales. Discover this stunning lens art project!

Malarky Arts – A Gentle Introduction

Andy spent the past 20+ years drawing, painting, sculpting, spraying and designing all sorts of stuff. Much of this work has been as lead artist with Malarky, an arts company he set up in 1997 which is primarily focused on community projects. He likes to mix things up and try new techniques and media to keep my work fresh and interesting. He is most happy when spraying a huge mural one day and making a tiny canvas in acrylic paints the next. Andy also makes carnival giants, masks, draw cartoons, practice calligraphy and 360 photos.

Image of Andy O'Rourke Malarky Arts amidst of his artwork

Interpretation Art for Park Penallta

Carved from a former coal tip, Penallta offers the visitor spectacular views across the county borough. Three waymarked trails guide visitors through a variety of woodland and grasslands. You can take a stroll through Penallta Marsh, dotted with anthills and see if you can spot the butterflies or enjoy the boardwalk and willow tunnel in the wetlands area. The Countryside Collector Trail offers a fun way for children to discover the park’s wildlife. The park is dotted with sculptures, which the Audio Trail will help you discover.

For fishermen, there are two fishing lakes that are stocked with a variety of coarse fish, while any other types of minibeasts can be explored all around. To make the setting even more appealing, all flora and fauna were captured by Andy in a wonderful interpretation mural artwork.

3D Printed Flys Eye Lens Array

Using novel Luximprint lens technology, the static paintings got a different dimension. Luximprint provided Andy with a series of printed optics in order to create a compound eye. Through a narrow opening in the wall, visitors can experience the world through a 3D printed flys eye lens array, provided by Luximprint.

Here’s one of the larger 3D printed Flys Eye Lenses used in his murals to imitate a real size flys eye:

Image of a 3D printed optical flys eye lens for Malarky Arts Usercase

Image of a handheld 3D printed flys eye lens array

Fly Eye Mystery: Why Flies have the Fastest Vision in Animal Kingdom

Fly eyes have the fastest visual responses in the animal kingdom, but how they achieve this has long been an enigma. Studies show that their rapid vision may be a result of their photoreceptors – specialized cells found in the retina – physically contracting in response to light. The mechanical force then generates electrical responses that are sent to the brain much faster than, for example, in human eyes, where responses are generated using traditional chemical messengers.

Here’s how it looks in praxis using 3D printed lenses:

If you want, there is another section on this website where you can read more about the function and performance of a flys eye lens array.

Below in the footer of this blog section, you can find more stunning footage about the project prepared by Andy.

About Malarky Arts

Malarky Arts is a collective based in Newport, South Wales, UK. With over 13 years experience in delivering quality community art through numerous local and international projects. The skills base is vast and Malarky prides itself in being able to create innovative projects tailored to suit the needs of each group they work with.

More info about Andy and his work is available at his personal website, or via the Malarky Arts collective.