Thursday, 9 October 2014

All about 'Falling Shadows'

'Paul Clifford - Falling Shadows', part of ‘The Rooftop Collective - Edition III',
Curious Duke Gallery, 173 Whitecross Street, London, EC1Y 8JT
13th - 25th October 2014, 11am to 6.30pm

Private View - Tuesday 14th October, 6pm to 9pm
Artists in Residence - Saturday 18th October, 2pm to 4pm
Late Night Opening - Thursday 23rd October, to 9pm

Here is the official press release for a selection of my 'Falling Shadows' photographs about to go on show at the Curious Duke Gallery above. In an exhibition environment, where the viewer has a physically direct relationship with the images, I believe the pictures should speak for themselves as much as possible. To that end, I kept the statement brief. 
The images capture dark lines and shapes as they slither, rake, draw and carve their way across the urban landscape. Natural light from our sun is blocked by man made forms, leaving a dark echo upon the space beyond. In these photographs the absence of light becomes the main event, the temporary darkness held in place forever as Falling Shadows.
Here on the blog I like to be a bit more expansive, so I am going to share just a few further thoughts.
3697 - Venice, Italy, 2009

In each of the 'Falling Shadows' photographs a shadow falls over a surface, placed within the composition to become the key interest, the absence of light making the picture come alive.

In the image above something seemingly straightforward has been captured - there's little mystery about what we are seeing, but the picture seems magical somehow. When Henri Cartier-Bresson spoke of 'The Decisive Moment' in regard to his own photography he was most likely thinking of a figure mid-stride, or a certain look on the faces of two lovers.

It is important to remember that the Decisive Moments in 'Falling Shadows' are just as significant to the results, working hand in hand with the composition to echo the same concerns that Cartier-Bresson elaborated on, but at an entirely different pace -

To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as of a precise organisation of forms which give that event its proper expression. Henri Cartier-Bresson, 1952

4881 - London, England, 2012
4802 - London, England, 2012
As hours go by, shadows slip across the urban canvas, and the pictures above look very different as the day progresses. Indeed, the second image only works at this moment, with a clear sky, at a certain time of year.

This movement across the day, and the shadows themselves, are a reminder of our own astounding cosmic relationship with the sun. All the images in 'Falling Shadows' feature lines and shapes cast by obstructions set precisely between the darkness of those shadows and the brightness of our distant sun.

The obstruction acts as a fulcrum, about which the sun and shadow pivot daily in an incredibly long distance relationship.
These images are a collection of evidence of that relationship, and how the sun's light, the obstruction and the shape and texture of the surface beyond can work together and reveal a new and sometimes entirely unexpected image.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on all this, either in the comments below, or best of all in person at the Private View on Tuesday 14th October or at one of the other events listed at the top of the post.