Composition for Shadows
February 18th 2112 – March 13th 2012
Friars Barn, Oxford Road, Hereford, UK
The sun arcs the sky from dawn till dusk. We only really notice its movement with the rise and set when in close proximity to the horizon. In these instances the sun appears to move more quickly, when seen in relation to a fixed object. Once it extracts itself from this visual field and embarks on its long crossing of the sky above, it appears to slow, laboriously crossing the expanse until in the final moments of it’s journey, speeds up again towards the horizon.
Composition for Shadows is an installation that is activated by this movement of the sun across the sky. You enter a large, windowless, wooden pavilion situated on the brow of a broad rolling hillside. Once inside, and your eyes have adjusted to the darkness you are struck by the acute shafts of isolated sunlight entering the building through apertures cut into the walls and ceiling. The rays of light are captured by a thin mist that hangs in the air and where the ray finds its terminus a pool of light is cast.
This work demands a much greater durational commitment from the viewer, for as you sit contemplating the light you become aware of a gentle shift in the intensity of the light rays. The ones you had been watching, dim and then disappear as several more are beginning to appear around you. A horizontal line of light begins to slowly slide down the far wall of the room before disappearing as another starts above it, repeating its movement.
This slow light show is a consequence of the suns rays passing through apertures and slits cut into multiple skins of the buildings façade. As the sun moves into a new position, three offset apertures in the façade align, allowing for a ray to enter the building for a limited period of time. As the sun moves on, other alignments are made and more rays enter the building. They appear and disappear rhythmically, building into crescendos of light before falling into moments of black silence. This performance creates an image of time measured by the motion of forms that seem to give it substance, yet a substance that consists entirely of light, so it is transitoriness itself.