Monday 6th April 2020
My creative practice is underpinned by the concept of trace - the idea that remnants, marks or imprints become a record of experience and memory. Shadows are inherent in this language, ghostly shapes suggesting a presence, a sense of something that is not quite there. These silhouettes are often delicate and beautiful such as the outlines of wild flowers cast onto paths and roadsides. Shadows may have a crisp edge or a more fuzzy outline and can be frightening and sinister as well as fragile and ephemeral.
Shadows are made by blocking light. Light rays travel from a source and if an opaque object gets in the way, it stops light from travelling through it. This simple science was applied one night when we pulled up in our car at the front of our house. Our hollyhock blocked the light from the car headlights, creating an enormous shadow which was projected on to the facade of our house and our neighbour’s. On subsequent evening I noted that the edge of the shadow is clear giving a defined outline of the plant. The shapes created are quite beautiful and there is something curious about the whole thing. The image is black and huge and on a windy night it moves back and forth across the house and I am reminded of a science fiction film of the past!
This plant and its shadow have provided me with the inspiration for much creative work over the last few months. I started by trying to capture the shadow on film, not so easy as I found out. This is my initial attempt.