October 27 – 30, 2017
Often the most poetic things are found in the everyday. Shadows and silhouettes offer moments of pause and reflection. Bodies and lines can be seen shifting, repeating. Light penetrates the window, bathing the white of the wall in a warm yellow glow, providing a surface for lightness and darkness to play hide-and-seek. It is easy to get lost in the dancing reflections; the shadow tracking the length of the day on the floor, the familiar silhouette of a lover at dusk, a vase’s shadow strewn over the table mistaken for a figure.
Shadow. The shadow reveals volume in space. The shadow conceals volume in space. The shadow provides a shift in perception, a moment when the reality we know becomes repeated, stretched and contorted. This arrangement of works offers a glimpse into the subject in shadow, which opens up a space for new readings. We see grids that are informed by gender and hierarchies of power, enlarged glass pollen forms that are so exaggerated in size they appear unfamiliar, and shadows stilled by paint that dance for us on delicate silks. In all of these works, our perception is altered through the manipulation of material and space, challenging and confusing the everyday.
Silhouette. The silhouette is seductive; it is a body in shadow. As with many forms of seduction, the silhouette can trigger one’s desire. Our desire for what is unknown, or known but not had; this gives way to anticipation. Our mind tells us the nude in the dark is our lover. The ambiguity caused by the shadow casts the familiar anew. Or at least, it can feel new in that moment. And that moment, however brief, can propose new possibilities. Like when a silhouette questions how gender can determine a body’s form, or a curtain, when finally pulled back, reveals a figure.
We open our eyes wide to capture light as it refracts. Lines of colour emerge. A teardrop streams down a cheek, a figure is masked by vegetation, a foot is seen peeking out from the corner of a room. We squint and adjust our eyes so that we can decode what is obscured by darkness: fabric encased in wax, a plaster bust of a child, a cloaked figure on a glass staircase, and swimmers synchronized.
Like Peter Pan chasing his shadow or the sundial that reveals the time of day, the silhouette in these works simultaneously point to that which changes and that which remains the same. They reveal our contemporary condition; that of a cyclical subject in a shifting context. A walking woman stuck on a looped path.
– Derek Liddington