installation art

  • March of the Alter-Egos

March of the Alter-Egos

Paper Dolls are a collection of paper sculptures I created to form an installation, in this case at the Great Northern warehouse in the centre of Manchester, UK. I began to experiment with the form and symbolism of these dolls or ‘paper people’ and also became interested in the way their shadows could be cast in different spaces. The presence of these intriguing sculptures and their shadows create oppositions such as light and dark, presence and absence, and also evokes a sense of lingering memories and the loss of identity.

installation art

photography and light

  • Old Flames

Old Flames

Taking the symbolism of folding 1000 paper cranes to grant wishes for world peace, I substituted this with the creation of multiple paper doll chains, traditionally made by children. I began to change the shape and identity of the 'doll' and created forms based on adult, human forms from personal photos. These chains were initially suspended as part of an installation in 3 isolation rooms in an arts organisation at a former psychiatric hospital in Bedburg-Hau, Germany, as part of a residency. This was an attempt to commemorate both the loss of individual and collective identity.  

installation art

photography and light

  • The Whispering Wall

The Whispering Wall

Each paper doll chain incorporates silhouettes of real people and their shadows. Here, the chains were installed in a former, railway storage warehouse in Manchester. The dolls were placed in a dimly lit corner where their shadows were projected and distorted by small lamps. The viewer was drawn into a shrine-like circle of glowing light, paper sculptures and shadows, creating a set of oppositions: light and shadow; positive and negative; presence and absence; reality and imagination; conscious and unconscious. The circle formed a connected army of people and their shadowy doppelgangers, lingering and climbing up the walls - an eerie insistence of lingering memories and stories waiting to unfold and be told. 

installation art

  • Copper Curve

Copper Curve

As part of an arts festival at Haigh Hall, Wigan, I placed copper 'silhouettes' in a sunlit clearing in surrounding woodlands. The installation was left 'hidden' over time for people to discover whilst out on a walk and, as the copper became more and more exposed to the elements, it began to corrode and change colour. Here, people were drawn to a curious installation as the copper glinted provocatively in the clearing when the sun came out. 

photography and light

  • In Dialogue

In Dialogue

As the camera shutter snaps open and closed, it captures and records both the varying conditions of light and the absence of light. I observe and try to catch these shadows in all their forms. Sometimes they appear as a clear, almost solid, perfect shape; other times as massive, lengthy distortions; wispy, washy shapes; or virtually non-existent.

 

installation art

  • The Resident

The Resident

As part of a group collective show, I occupied a suite at the Marriot Hotel in the centre of Liverpool, as part of the 'Independents' exhibitions, for Liverpool Biennial. Here I captured traces of movement and occupancy as the material on a chair shifted into dark and light with the forms of different people who came and went. Furthermore, the dark and light ruffles in the fabric allude to the Chiaroscuro effect used by great painters, sculptors and cinema photographers to contrast light and dark and thus achieve a sense of volume and form.  

photography and light

installation art

  • Lingering Lines

Lingering Lines

A dense web of growing lines, marks and traces define the passing of time and movement of a hotel chair's inhabitants - a faceless crowd of temporary residents who come and go with the relentless passing of night and day....

drawing

  • Tracks of Time

Tracks of Time

‘Shadows come and go without leaving a trace’ suggests Thorsten Sadowsky. True, unless somebody were to attempt to trace them. My preoccupation with shadows extends further as I represent the object by capturing its shadow, drawing around the outlines as they fall onto a particular surface. Tracing these lines is an alternative way to draw and to capture the essence of an object. To immerse oneself in the act of drawing is to spend time forming a connection between the hand, the eye and the imagination, as well as the drawing tool and the surface. Drawing teaches us how to observe the world around us, how to really see the details before us with ‘fresh eyes’ and represent this information with a ‘steady, committed hand.’

drawing

  • Detail (Lines and Layers)

Detail (Lines and Layers)

These shadows are traced under different light forms, as if to represent the ambiguity and ethereal nature of the shadow. Sometimes the shadow boldly stretches out underneath a single spotlight, like a solid mass of ink. Other times it flickers and playfully dances in the light of a candle, as if to say “catch me if you can!”

drawing

  • Light Map

Light Map

Shadow tracing is a race against time – the shadow could disappear at any moment leaving behind a set of chaotic marks and lines, evidence of movement and past lives, similar to nature’s own intricate timelines, present in the cross section of a tree trunk or on a shoreline at low tide. To the unknowing viewer, this mess of lines present themselves as a mysterious map or a confusion of scribbles, rather like the remnants of a constantly evolving, crime scene. How long would it take to fill the entire surface with these traces of movement - the residue of a performance?

photography and light

  • I Am Here

I Am Here

'Shadows have always enjoyed a separate status in the catalogue of things’ as Roberto Casati writes, ‘were I to make a list of what is in the room with me as I write, I would include books, table, pencils; but I might stop for a moment to think twice about adding to the list the shadows these things project.’ Of course, some people take shadows, including their own, for granted and fail to even notice they are there. They forget how to look and question everything that they see (or don’t see) before their eyes. 

 

photography and light

  • Watchful Guardian

Watchful Guardian

We are completely bound to our shadows in eternal matrimony for our entire life. They continually appear, suddenly vanish and then re-appear in another slightly altered form – a playful, mischievous alter-ego, copying our every move. Imagine how strange it would be to step into the light one day and notice that our shadow was no more, gone, departed. Would this mean we didn’t exist – devoid of substance, a complete absence to the light?

 

photography and light

  • Soul

Soul

A figment of the imagination, or a trick of the light?

How many ways can the soul be revealed through the lens of a camera and the mind's eye?

photography and light

  • Time Grid

Time Grid

Shadows tell us a lot about where we are in the world – projected onto a particular wall or surface, in a certain location at a certain time of the day, month, year, and so on. In the sunlight, the shadow also connects us to the cosmos, reminding us that we are part of it. Without the sun we would not exist, and neither would our shadow.

 

photography and light

  • Revelations of the Infra-Ordinary

Revelations of the Infra-Ordinary

'Space melts like sand running through one's fingers. Time bears it away and leaves me only shapeless shreds.' 

Georges Perec, Espèces d'espaces

photography and light

  • Wall Drawing

Wall Drawing

To be a shadow catcher is to know how to look, how to see, how and how to give meaning to something which, on the whole is overlooked or unappreciated. But once you know how to look, a whole new world of beauty and intrigue presents itself.

installation art

light and shadow

photography and light

  • Shadow Play

Shadow Play

"One realised all sorts of things. The value of an illusion, for instance, and that the shadow can be more important than the substance. All sorts of things.."

Jean Rhys, Quartet

 

Here I constructed a shadow installation based around the theme of lace. In this space, participants could explore shadows and illusions as various lacy patterns were projected and cast upon different surfaces, creating interesting layers and oppositions between light and dark, positive and negative.

 

photography and light

  • Shades of Green (in Grey)

Shades of Green (in Grey)

Like liquid, the light loans out its luxurious luminosity,

Lining, looping and lacing its language of lyrical lucidity.

  • Timeline

Timeline

The light can cut and carve sharply around solid matter corners. Its absence emerges as dark, shapely, shadowy blocks. The space between these shadows is even less concrete as a golden light flits and flickers - telling a story of the where, the here and the how of now - and then it vanishes as quickly as it came...

installation art

light and shadow

photography and light

  • Shadow Happenings

Shadow Happenings

"Places are always changing.. Space is socially constructed, unstable and ever-emerging."

Greg Mannion

 

Visitors to one of my shadow installations stop to interact with projections and shadows, forming ever-changing layers of movement, interaction, ideas and narratives.

photography and light

  • Bedroom Theatre

Bedroom Theatre

'What does it mean, to live in a room? Is to live in a place to take possession of it? What does taking possession of a place mean? As from when does somewhere become truly yours?'

Georges Perec, Espèces d'espaces

photography and light

  • Shadow Writer

Shadow Writer

The drama unfolds on the blank pages of an artist's book. The traces of her pencil's activity have pressed through onto the next page. They are insistent as marks, symbols and drawings which define thoughts, ideas and intentions. 

Meanwhile the shadow occupies the next pages like a mysterious invisible ink. It defines itself within a point and place in time (known only to the camera and the person that captured it). Yet for a short while, we have a meeting of minds and movements.

installation art

photography and light

light and shadow

  • Shadow Stills

Shadow Stills

"Sometimes an image is like an extra eye that watches the mind struggle to translate what it sees.... which way now?"

Nicholas Paley, Finding Art's Place

Here the movement of objects are captured as a photographic still - a collage of colour, light, translucency, shadows and textures which can only be experienced by the eyes..