Touring Exhibitions

Magic is an inspiring force for learning. This exhibition will inspire and educate people of any age. — Richard Wiseman, ILLUSION Curator

Do you believe your eyes? Can you trust your senses? And is anything really as it seems? 

A mind-bending new exhibition developed by Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin, ILLUSION joins magic with psychology and optical illusions with scientific reasoning to distort the senses. Through a series of imaginative artworks, ILLUSION shows that what we perceive is often radically different from the reality of what we observe by playfully allowing visitors to experience concepts used by magicians and explored by neuroscientists.

See it. But don't believe it.

ILLUSION was created as an intimate labyrinth of installations where low theatrical lighting distorts the senses and mystifies logical thinking. It is curated by psychologist, author and magician Richard Wiseman, and was researched by deception artist and TV magician Paul Gleeson, who is also the world’s youngest professional escapologist. 

The curatorial team selected twenty works from the open call that best fit their overall vision for ILLUSION. This makes for a unique and gently disorienting experience. From insects that appear to climb onto the audience to a flow of oil that seems to flow upwards back into its can, at ILLUSION seeing is not believing.


ILLUSION in brief

Themes explored:
Optical, perceptual and audio illusions
The human mind
The science of magic

Audience Focus:
Family friendly, ILLUSION was developed with younger people in mind and is suitable for all ages. 

Avg. visit duration:
45–60 mins

Floor space:
c.450m² (c.5,000ft²)

Min. ceiling height:


ILLUSION in the press

ILLUSION has received extensive coverage including The New York Times, NBC, Fox News and METRO, and online, major global websites such as Gizmodo and Colossal. 





If you are interested in receiving the full touring information pack for this exhibition please get in touch with our Touring Development Manager, Rob Warren at