Shadow art and illusions of depth

Art installations – shadow painting




Tim Noble & Sue Weber, Shadow Sculptures
Using household rubbish, scrap metal and taxidermy animals – by shining light onto these assemblages they are transformed into highly accurate shadow profiles of the artists. Through their shadows sculptures they managed to fuse the abstract and representational, a pursuit that consumed the likes of Jackson Pollock.


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Kumi Yamashita

A series of sculptures which, when lit from the right angle, cast human shadows. The physical sculptures themselves are either made from three-dimensional lettering, cast resin, or sheet metal jutting out from the wall.



Illusions of depth


High Contrast Lighting



Even lighting tends to flatten images, while lighting with harsher shadows with fast falloff tends to give the illusion of depth. The superlative example: film noir.



With the particular case of forced perspective – a space is constructed to telescope from reality in the foreground to significantly reduced scale.






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Used in cinematography, the parallax effect serves to create depth, as well as to make the shot more dynamic. It does this by adding “kinetic energy” — aesthetic energy created by moving the camera. A static shot adds little (if any) aesthetic energy to a shot, but a moving camera can turn what was once a boring still shot into a scene that pulls the audience in. In fact, it’s often said that adding a moving camera and moving subjects (e.g. people, cars, etc.) is the equation for high kinetic — and therefore aesthetic — energy. Layers that move more quickly are perceived to be closer to the virtual camera.



Between the solid and ephemeral, sculpture and drawing – Anthony McCall’s work

Anthony McCall. “You and I Horizontal” (2006). Installation view at Institut d’Art Contemporain, Villeurbanne, France (2006). Solid light installation. 50-minute cycle in six parts. Computer, computer script, video projector, haze machine. Dimensions variable. Photograph: Blaise Adilon. Courtesy Sean Kelly Gallery, New York.




New Zealand International Arts Festival 2010 - Anthony McCall

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