Today I played with shadows and reflections in the Morgue. This linked to the time, a few weeks ago, when I was immersed in installations. Though my focus has changed, I’d started so I finished.
I wanted to create an installation where the shadows and reflections were as important as the physical materials. So I used tinted and mirror acrylics and coloured lighting gels. To keep it simple I worked with circles and rings strung together and hung from the ceiling. I made enough pieces to test the effect but not to create an immersive installation. I experimented in the Morgue because it was available, but was aware of the particular qualities of the space. And I hired 3 lights to project through the discs.
The interest in the work came from the coloured shadows that the tinted acrylic and lighting gels created on the walls and ceiling. By comparison the mirrored acrylic was relatively uninteresting. The lights were bright, so the dark space became quite well lit. They showed up the marks on the walls and the exposed brickwork but cast dark shadows where walls obstructed them.
I’d started off by thinking of creating a “cosmos” but my choice of colours and the way I placed the disks made it more like a 1960’s psychedelic experience, a children’s television programme or traditional sweets.
While reflections on the mirrored acrylic had little impact on my work, it was central to “Our Colour Reflection” by Liz West, which I saw recently in Chester Cathedral. She covered the floor in discs of coloured mirrored acrylic like a large lily pond. They reflected the stained glass windows and architectural details and were reflected onto the walls and ceiling. It was remarkable that these effects were all created with natural light but it didn’t really work for me because of the colours of the mirrored acrylic in that context.
At the moment I’m not quite sure where any of this takes me, but fortunately that doesn’t matter as my focus moves on.