Circle of Complements

Particles or Waves?

Public Commission by Cleary Connolly

with students and staff of St. Patricks College, Cavan

The paradoxical nature of light (a particle or a wave?) is the premise for this project. We explore how universal this paradox is: is a rugby team more like a wave than a particle? And a democratic election? Is human society made of particles or waves?

There are five works distributed through the school, each developed through a participative process with students and staff of the school.


Six polished steel elements arranged in a circle, each containing a circular dichroic filter of the size of a large looking glass. The colours are Magenta, Green, Blue, Red, Yellow, and Cyan, and they are positioned in complementary coloured pairs opposite each other, and with their component colours adjacent, as on Newton’s colour wheel. 

Newton’s Colour Wheel

From Opticks,1704