Vantablack resting on silver foil
Media playback is unsupported on your device

How black can black be?

23 September 2014 Last updated at 13:10 BST

A material dubbed the darkest substance on earth is being used creatively by internationally acclaimed artist Sir Anish Kapoor.

Vantablack, developed by Surrey Nanosystems, uses complex technology to ensure that over 99% of the light that hits its surface is absorbed.

Speaking to Sarah Montague on the Today Programme, Sir Anish explained that the substance is "blacker than anything you can imagine... So black you almost can't see it".

He went on to explain the possible artistic applications of Vantablack:

"It's effectively like a paint.... Imagine a space that's so dark that as you walk in you lose all sense of where you are, what you are, and especially all sense of time."

"Something happens to your emotional self and in disorientation one has to reach in for other resources," he added.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Tuesday 23 September.