We are being followed. Everything exposed to light on this planet is being followed without even realizing its existence. No, I am not paranoid or delusional. Shadows are an extension of our experience. They accompany us on daily routines with little acknowledgement or investigation. As an artist, they fascinate me.
The Merrian-Webster defines a shadow as a dark shape that appears on a surface when someone or something moves between the surface and a source of light. In psychology, a shadow can represent gloom and doom. However, my definition is quite different. Shadows represent everything in subject without the burden of material.
My interest started many years ago in undergraduate school. While creating sculptures and ugly paintings with various glued objects, I noticed how light can transform surfaces. My age and inexperience didn’t have the capacity and know-how to truly explore. Graduation and life’s growing pains got in the way.
Moving to San Francisco for graduate school changed everything! Light and shadows in an urban environment is dramatic and undeniable. How to showcase this observation proved difficult and wouldn’t be top priority while trying to obtain my degree. As a result, the investigation would have to wait.
After graduation, the explorer never faded. The new time and older self allowed for research to find the proper material to showcase light. Through trial and error, my acrylic installations were born. I needed a material that could be molded to mimic patterns while using light to extend its identity.
When the acrylic installations were displayed at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, it was a rare opportunity to see the magic of proper lighting. The shadows created were better than expected. That exhibit became the blueprint for the de Young museum artist in residence and beyond.
While currently researching for a public art opportunity at Guy Place Mini Park in San Francisco, the shadows of the neighborhood played an integral part in my design. Somehow, I think this interest and commitment will never fade. The love of shadows has always followed me despite the inconsistent admiration and two-timing. They are faithful for life.