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Long Shadows Cast

Research output: Exhibits, objects and web-based outputsArtefact

Published
Publication date18/03/2024
PublisherJohn Muir Trust
Medium of outputDrawing
Sizevariable
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Long Shadow Cast is a series of 9 glass watch faces ( 5cm diameter) painted with glacial flour ( sediment left by retreating glaciers ). Each drawing depicts (post) glacial site in Switzerland visited by the artist in summer 2023 through her residency at Musee d’art du Valais where she also gathered glacial flour left by retreating glacier used here as the pigment to make the images. Placed on an OHP, shadows are cast on the wall. The viewer sees not the drawing but its trace, via the means of this nearly obsolete technology. The yellow glow from the electric bulb of lends the work a sepia glow, recalling early photographic images of high mountain areas before the impact of that industrialisation of that period was to be seen.

The work explores ideas of permanence, critiquing associations of the drawn mark as a fixed entity. Here , a mark made in shadow is a mark contingent on its environment (lighting conditions) to take shape. The premise reflects Jean Luc-Nancy's observation ( 2011) that a drawing is in a state of becoming. This theory of drawing has a critcial relationship to the depicted glacial environments. What appears to be fixed and timeless in in the drawing, is revealed as shifting and fluid in its shadow. The work also enters into critique of the romanticized view of high mountain areas as remote, out of reach and uninhabited, and as an imaginary sublime. In fact, this is an impossible ideal for these mountains are places of passage, pilgrimage and leisure pursuits and resources used by humans for centuries to support their lives, an idealised space as impossible to inhabit as a shadow.

The work is part of the wider project Emergency! about what emerges as a result of glacial retreat. Exhibited at John Muir Trust 2024.