Friday, October 27, 2006
The Unbearable Lightness of Seeing
Sometimes the light in Sydney can be harsh. Today, it was so bright it hurt my eyes, so I stayed inside my studio, curtains drawn, and worked. Don't get me wrong: I love light and shadow, and how they can change the physical and emotional natures of things, but glaring light makes everything dischordant. Colours are bleached, textures hardened. The effect can be as depressing as a dank, grey day.Still, even on the worst days, there is dusk. The sunlight softens, becomes diffused, and everything is painted burnt umber and gold. I love watching light shift and change. Everything touched by it is animated, and becomes somehow more real and intense. Shadows take unexpected forms, colours become more vivid and saturated. Softer light lets me stare at the shapes, enables my eye to follow a line for ages without blinking. Looking – really looking – is one of my most intimate pleasures. When bright light makes it uncomfortable, or impossible, I don't even want to be out in the world.