TWO Sunderland academics have brought Lowry to life in Sunderland.

Prof Michael Pickard and Gurpreet Singh from the University of Sunderland have used the power of illusion to make Lowry’s matchstick men appear to walk across canvases as part of a new exhibition featuring more than 50 fascinating interactive illusions.

This exhibition presents a range of illusions that connect visual knowledge with creative design and explain how the visual principles work but are fun to look at and play with, including an L.S Lowry painting that seems to come to life.

It also includes Prof Pickard’s ‘Steel Magnolias Illusion’ that was a top 10 finalist in the Illusion of the Year Contest run by the American Visual Science Society, in which the magnolias seem to move and wave around as if in a strong breeze, yet nothing is actually moving.

Prof Pickard said: “Illusions are always fun to look at but they also tell us a lot about how much and how little we really see.”

Gurpreet Singh added: “These illusions show how knowledge about vision can connect with the design process. It’s great to have this exhibition on at the University to bring to life classic artwork in Sunderland.”

Other illusions also include Lighthouse at the End of the Universe, The Pinball Wizard, Dance of the Tadpoles and many others.

All of the artwork will open to the public on Wednesday May 21 between 5.30pm until 8pm in the University’s Design Centre Gallery. It will continue to be on display to the public between 10am and 5pm, Monday to Friday until Friday June 13.