Mixed Media, Painting, Photography
Circle of Arts Foundation
Ellen Jean WILLIAMS
Whilst Light and Shadow make the whole, Darkness cannot be seen clearly, it obscures our senses and perceptions, and shadows cannot be completely trusted. In Plato's Myth of Cave, for example, mankind has access merely to the shadow of Truth. In reality we sometimes seek rest in the shadows. The Old Testament describes the appearance of light and darkness rather succinctly. "And the earth was waste and without form; and it was dark on the face of the deep: and the Spirit of God was moving on the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God, looking on the light, saw that it was good: and God made a division between the light and the dark, Naming the light, Day, and the dark, Night." (Gen. 1, 2—5). Subsequently, this act of the Almighty acquired a deep philosophical meaning. The confrontation between light and darkness, good and evil, white and black, has left its mark on the attitude formation in European culture. Although, at first everything was clear, life turned out to be much more complicated, since absolute Darkness, just like absolute Evil, is rare.
A falling shadow is almost never found in medieval art, while if the subject still required it, it was presented conditionally, since the artists of that time did not yet know the perspective and even more so the volume, the secret of which was only revealed in the Renaissance . Then they began to actively use the shadow to make the image realistic.
The re-definition, then the uses of, Light and Shadow became the fore-runner to Impressionism and the myriad interpretative expressions of Art Practice since.