Torii gateways and shadows/Archana Hebbar Colquhoun

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When in the presence of light each solid object throws out a shadow.
The shadow is just a visual echo of the object and represents only the outer boundary of the form of the object. Within the flat, linear shape of the shadow no formal details are seen of the actual object.


The shadow is errant by its very nature. Presenting an object as a simple outline the shadow entirely erases the object’s rich surface content and replaces the textures of the object by the texture of the ground on which the shadow falls.


In each of the two works of the torii gateway (shown below) the capricious shadow is embodied in material form. In one work the shadow is represented as a line of bricks imitating the form of the torii displayed on a dry wall of bricks and in the other work (displayed inside a tent) the shadow is a framed drawing of a torii lying flat on the floor, face up, at the foot of the tori sculpture. The shadows of the tori gateways in both works deviate from the form of the actual art object.


A shadow is an illusion with a life form of its own.

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