The Responses to Art group met at Bradford Industrial museum last month and I finally got to join them. Artist Steve Gumbley is currently exhibiting Shadow Machines and Singing Paintings there. He talked about his work with light and shadow, introducing us to his shadowgraph 'From Horse Power to Hydrogen Power', involving models of all manner of items relating to power, from cooling towers to bicycles, chimneys to galloping horses. He has assembled these on a large, slowly moving turntable with a small, low light source on one side, creating shadows on the far wall. Objects close to the light source project huge shadows, whilst those further away create smaller shadows. As the base revloves, the shadows move in relation to each other, growing and shrinking and interacting in different ways.
We had been briefed to bring with us small items which may create interesting shadows and there were boxes full of wire, paper, small toys and other ephemera for us to delve into as we then created our own shadowgraphs on themes such as Procession, Fairytale and Urban Landscape.
We then went on to create individual pieces on the theme of power and energy to add, one by one, to Steve's big revolving shadowgraph. Using some of my weird but beautiful collection of hedgehog bones, a few feathers and the bird skull and dead bee that my sister gave me for my birthday (brilliant! Thank you Jo!) I created a fantasy flying creature.
Next Responses Art Group, for anyone who wants to get creative, is at Cartwright Hall this Thursday, 6th March 2014, 10.30am. It's a lovely building with some beautiful artworks. This session will be a response to some of the Indian silk paintings on display there.