SHADOWS OF BURDEN
Mixed Media Sculpture
Originally exhibited: Luminato Festival 2009
Role: Artists, fabricators
A work that reveals mythical heroes in images made of shadow.
Shadows of Burden is a series of interactive media pieces in which light and shadow are used as a new medium for drawing, and as a metaphor for the subject matter they project. Unattended, each piece consists of an encaustic painting on linen, with a tangled nest of bent wire and rod protruding from the surface of the piece. As the viewer approaches, a light mounted in the painting’s frame fades on, and the seemingly random arrangement of wires is revealed to be a complicated sculpture which casts a precise shadow against the surface of the painting.
The Burden of Sisyphus is an artwork in this series and presents to the viewer a centred, seemingly weightless round form, with the abstract arrangement of wires suggesting a boulder hanging in space. As the light breaks through the wire, it casts a shadow of Sisyphus struggling up the mountain. A hierarchy of causality is established: the rock is not the tragic instrument of Sisyphus; the hero is merely the artifice of the boulder. Sisyhpus exists in our consciousness because of his punishment, not in spite of it. The sentiment of fatalism and romantic tragedy is carried through in the presentation of Icarus’ wings, Prometheus’ viscera, the near invisibility of Eurydice, and the rest of the doomed figures.