Chasing natural light and shaping shadows with my books Night & Day I and Night & Day II.
Shadows are but extensions of the dark and of dense matter as they are pushed out by the light. To know the light, one must find acquaintance with the dark. Although the shadow may seem born of the dark, it is the light that brings it forth. The shadow can also be seen as a path that leads you to the light.
The following is a narrative of shade and light unfolding… Introducing Shades of Light, a series of four books that contemplates shadow and light.
Paper…it is a universe within itself… As handlers of paper we respond to how it feels, looks and responds to our touch, to its weight, by how it moves and how it sounds when it moves, how it bends, and how it can flap about when you animate it, or how serene and beautiful it may look when it hangs from a wall or falls from a book… This list can go on and on. Besides the amazing things that artists can do and say with this fine medium for expression, paper can say a whole lot without having anything said on it.
These are elements I was exploring when I developed the following three book works which were created specifically for a Canadian group exhibition that showed in 2011 called “Bound by Nature, An exhibition inspired by nature, landscape and books,” curated by Canadian artist Deborah Danelley.
With “Memoir, a book of sand” I was interested in exploring texture and containment, light and shadow, and the metaphor of moving through time with the eye travelling across the length of an image, a book. Taking the memory that time places on us and containing it in this form felt like a natural thing to do…
a mark in time…
this is the mark
time places on us
it is a memory
in the sand
The next set of books “Night & Day I” and “Night & Day II” is an example of how papers can speak for themselves…
“Dream Sequence I, L’enchantement de la femme noire”
In this work I was exploring size and the concept of the “unfolding” element of a narrative. I also wanted to feel physically engaged in the handling experience of reading a book with such wide pages…you have to use your whole arm to turn the pages, and I found this very engaging as a reader.
Building a visual narrative is like building a poem. Thematic elements and motifs occur and recur throughout the piece, building up rhythm and harmony. I wanted to retain such a feel with the method of printing and gilding, and so devised a way to apply the gold in the work in the manner of the pochoir method of the forest and dame noire.