As The Light Touches
I can't remember the last time I saw the sun. 2018. 4 custom light boxes with 8 archival inkjet prints on backlight film (24" x 32" x 5" each). 1 archival inkjet print draped over custom poplar sculpture (125" x 24"). Part of a larger body of work As The Light Touches.
The photographs and sculptural installations in As The Light Touches merge photography and sculpture to address ideas of memory, home, time, light, and their relationships with consciousness, self awareness, and perception. Straddling the liminal space between sculpture and photography, image and object, presence and absence, As The Light Touches investigates light and it’s material affects on the body, mind, and in photography. Looking to fiction and literature references to light, the history of photography, and the light and space movement in art history, I use a combination of photography, installation, and sculpture to question our physical, emotive, and psychological relationships to light as it envelops us daily within the home, rests in memory, but often escapes our notice. In this body of work light is used to make photographs, activate spaces, and considered a material. Light is a key ingredient in making photographs. It is how we see colour and form, and also how we see and experience physical objects in the world. But it is also a destroyer of materials, our skin, and our eyes. The sun is both volatile and nourishing. In my work I hope to look at both of these aspects of light both materially and pictorially, both through sculpture and image, and use light as a material as much as an ingredient in image making.
Mapping the movement of the sun as it animates the emotive interior of the home, I follow the sunlight as it moves throughout my childhood home over the course of each day for one year; witnessing the subtle changes and nuances that can only be experienced within an intimate familiarity with a space over time. This space resonates deeply both personally and collectively as the childhood home is often an individual’s first universe. Fragments of windows and doors, inside and outside, and the residue and imprints of a familiar place appear to resemble collapsed domestic spaces that can be navigated in the round, and that seem to hover and float in space. The resultant photo-based sculptural works are layered and curled on the wall, precariously draped over sculptural objects, or housed in illuminated spaces that a viewer may navigate as objects. Photographs appear to float and sway, drape and bend, and reflect and absorb light. Light becomes poetic metaphor, subject, and material in presentation and production of the work. Images appear to curl and float away from the wall or floor casting latent imagery while drawing attention to the materiality of light in space and producing a physical encounter for the viewer. For example, sunlight animates the images as it moves across the space and hits the transparent film, gallery lighting illuminates the sculptural works with a subtle glow, and double sided floor light boxes become windows into imaginary worlds. Time and space seem to hover and collapse. This extended study in the ephemeral qualities of light and the passage of time attempts to unravel our memories of the spaces we know intimately through time and lived experience. I aim for this work to become an affective experience for the viewer that touches on how traces of our interior most private spaces linger in our minds long after we’ve left them behind.
Natalie Hunter wishes to acknowledge the generous support of the Ontario Arts Council in producing this body of work.