Shadows: Nightmare and Beauty
Kids are scared of the dark, but why? Why can seemingly harmless objects become scary in the dark, what makes shadows scary? Why does a shadowy form in the dark will scare a child but when the lights turn on it's only just their stuffed animal? How can I make a body of work that captures how shadows display the scary and nightmarish qualities of an object? I began my investigation into shadows and their nightmares with wire and wired mesh. Using the objects around the lighting studio I began to build my sculptures around them, inspired by the shadows of the objects themselves. I would construct personified forms with these objects, displaying how shadows invoke a nightmarish reality. As my projects became more abstract I began to see a new perspective—shapes that had looked like sharp spider webs before became soft flowing water. I discovered that when investigated separately from their source (the objects) shadows become beautiful abstract forms. Through my investigation, I found that shadows and darkness are misunderstood in art. Shadows can write rich beautiful stories about texture, abstraction, and perspective. My investigation has taught me that shadows when associated with our reality can be dark and nightmarish, but when appreciated for the abstract forms that they are, shadows become beautiful works of art.