In the 1980’s and 90’s I was making furniture and architectural configurations in which the form and materials mediated the flow of multiple lights into overlapping patterns. I was entranced by what I saw as the liquid materiality of light.
A camera obscura project took the form of a building with a 10X10 X10 foot interior, and has produced some lasting optical impressions which have affected my work since 2006. Light in that building entered through two holes, a pinhole and a closeable 22” round skylight. The pinhole allowed transmission of a well-lit exterior image to form inside the room. The light/image entering through the 22” “hole” in the ceiling remained broadly unfocused and was useful for studying the space, reading etc., thereby compounding an understanding of light as information/illumination. Reading Ernst Cassirer* on the origins of mythical thinking in relation to light and its absence has been of great value in the experience of the camera obscura and of the later version in which I refitted the building from camera mode to lantern mode.
In paintings from 2008-2013 where I used acrylic on MDF, I designated an area on the raw board as a surrogate point of light entry in a simple rendering of a single architectural interior (a study) with an irrational/goofy perspective. The distorted perspective of an interior and the flat unpainted disk, meant to refer to a mediating optical opening communicated a tension, which was both pictorial and material.
In 2015 I took a “failed” painting and cut it in half. I then attached a small cabinet to one half of the painting. In the wall of the cabinet I made a 3” hole, which would allow light to fall through the hole in the cabinet, onto the painting and allow light from the opposite side to fall into the 3d space of the cabinet. I was intrigued by the way that the embrace of the two components and the fall of light from left and right through the work offered viewers a reference to a bicameral mind.
*Philosophy of Symbolic Forms
Ernst Cassirer- Yale University Press 1957