Friday, December 12, 2014

Gallery: Run with the wolves at 'Shadow Aspect'

Imagine walking into the darkened space of a gallery and being surrounded by revolving images of running wolves. These images, which are actually shadows, are projected onto the gallery's walls.


Imagine walking into the darkened space of a gallery and being surrounded by revolving images of running wolves. These images, which are actually shadows, are projected at varying levels onto the gallery's walls, as well as onto hanging silk panels that are placed intermittently throughout the space, impeding your freedom of movement and playing tricks with your vision.

My initial experience of Kathleen Scott's installation, "Shadow Aspect," was profoundly disorienting. I had the sensation of being in an otherworldly space that evoked both "real" phenomena, such as moonlight and fog; as well as the archetypal imagery of myths, fairy tales and dreams. As I gradually became accustomed to the installation and listened more closely to its accompanying music, composed and played by Scott, I was filled with an increasing sense of wonder and calm: This is a magical work.

According to Scott, she wanted "Shadow Aspect" to create an effect comparable to being immersed in a child's turning night light or magic lantern. (The projected shadows of wolves are in fact created by night lights shining through cut paper wolves mounted on revolving platforms.) The effect, in Scott's words, is at once eerie and comforting; and the wolves can be seen as both predators and protectors.

"Shadow Aspect" is one of four works in Scott's solo show, "Nocturne," on view in the Salisbury University Downtown Campus Gallery through Dec. 20. The exhibition reopens Jan. 7 and runs through Jan. 10. Gallery hours are Wednesdays through Fridays from noon to 6 p.m.; and Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m.

Visit www.salisbury.edu/universitygalleries.

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