Tuesday, 22 September 2009

SHADOWPLAY

I once wrote a book entitled Shadowlands and I've always been fascinated by the world of shadows and those who can use them to conjure magical images for our amusement and entertainment - the ancient art of what is known as shadowgraphy, demonstrated here by the great Arturo Brachetti...



Similarly appealing are those exquisite early animated shadow puppet films by the brilliant Lotte Reiniger...



In the light - or shadow - of the above I'd also like to share yet another souvenir of our visit to the Venice Biennale in July: a wonderful installation of moving images and shifting shadows by the German artist, Hans-Peter Feldmann.


Entitled Schattenspiel (Shadowplay) it comprised a line of tables in a darkened room on which were arranged a series of small, revolving platforms piled with toys, models and miscellaneous objects including figures of Charlie Chaplin, Betty Boop, Jerry Mouse and Woody the Cowboy, skeletons, gnomes, dinosaurs, Eiffel Towers, kitchen implements and guns.

As they rotated, the objects on these platforms were illuminated by bright lights that cast beguilingly mysterious silhouettes on the bare walls where they danced in a constantly shifting, overlapping, interweaving dance of light and shadow...



Images: Brian Sibley and David Weeks © 2009; Photo unloaded by flickr.


6 comments:

scb said...

Amazing shadow art! Have you seen Angela Cartwright's shadow art/photography? She does a lot of interesting shadow work, and altered art --

http://www.acartwrightstudio.blogspot.com

(If that link doesn't show fully, you can get to her blog by going to my blog and clicking on "Said & Done" in my bloglist entitled "My friends inspire me".)

Shadows are fascinating things.

SharonM said...

The thing that really gets me is how Brachetti manages to change his costumes like that - unless he had loads of layers on and just whipped one off each time he went behind.
Shadowplay is quite mesmerising - the sort of thing you could watch for ages.

James said...

You remind me of Tim Noble and Sue Webster's impressive shadow art:

http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/featured/incredible-shadow-art-created-from-junk/12265

Good Dog said...

Horray for Hans-Peter Feldmann and Schattenspiel!

Finally something from your guided tour of the Venice Biennale that would have intrigued me.

I hate to sound like either a fuddy-duddy or a complete philistine but (whispers) a lot of modern art leaves me absolutely cold... and scratching my head at how they get away with it. Amazingly after perusing the previous posts I decided that if I didn't have anything nice to say then don't say anything at all.

Previously I would have taken charge of a launch and been straight back to the Peggy Guggenheim. (Sorry). But this manipulation of shadow and light would have kept me rooted to the spot.

Unless there is more to come, I'd say you've kept the best to last.

Galen said...

Here's another lovely piece from Raymond Crowe:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P39WX_ORBgA

Brian Sibley said...

SCB, JAMES and GALEN - Thanks for the links to more fascinating shadowplaying...

SHARON M - Yes, Arturo Brachetti is brilliant. You ask how it is done "unless he had loads of layers on and just whipped one off each time he went behind"... Well, like a good magic trick, I think the wonderment is in not knowing the 'how'...

GOOD DOG - You said: "Finally something from your guided tour of the Venice Biennale that would have intrigued me... Unless there is more to come, I'd say you've kept the best to last."

I did!! :-)