Shadow Art


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I wasn’t sure what to choose for my blog so I tried looking for something I found unique and interest. One day I was stumbling on and found shadow art. It really caught my eye, because when I was little I used to play with flashlights and make little shadow puppets and never did anything very intricate. I just wondered how they made these.

British-born and –based artists Tim Noble and Sue Webster using a pile of junk created these. They are able to create the feeling of humanity when light is projected on them. They are able to create a unique image, such as the one’s above the first one is of two men sitting on a box. And the other is of two human heads on spikes. In this artwork I get the idea that just because something maybe junk to you. For someone else or if you look at it different may be viewed as artwork or something more useful.

The first artwork above is titled “Real Life is Rubbish” made in 2002. I find it amazing how they can use a pile of trash to create this artwork. I think it amazing that they were able to create such detail with it. Creating to men sitting on a box, one of them is even wearing a hat. I believe the idea they are trying to get across it that everything can be garbage but if used correctly it can become useful.

The second artwork of theirs I have above is called “Dark Stuff” made in 2008. What it looks like is two balls of scrapes on two individual spikes but the shade you see it much more clearly. The shadows look like the figures are to people’s heads on spike, which I think goes well with the title they gave it.

  •  Where do they get the junk they use?
  • Does it make a difference on what kind of light source they use?
  • Would using a different color evoke different emotions?

To find other artworks done by Noble and Webster visit this site. I think they have many unique and interesting pieces.  Click here for another great link.

Kevin Wolak




16 thoughts on “Shadow Art

  1. I love the shadows art. I really enjoy the fact that what looks to pile of rubbish, turns into something amazing by placing a light source being it. I also believe that by changing the light sources it’s color would effect the mood. Think if the light were red behind the the head on the spikes it may make this have a more dramatic effect. Or blue behind the two figures sitting on the boxes it might make it seem more lonely.

  2. This display has to be the most interesting that I have ever seen. I can only imagine the creativity it takes to compose one of these pieces. When I first looked the pics you posted I thought that it was two different parts, the stuff in the foreground and the image on the wall. These would be nice to see in person that way I could walk around a bit and see the other sides. Great choice.

  3. Wow that’s really creative. I think changing the color would evoke different emotions. Such as in the first one the light sort of looks like a sunset. It would be nice to see them in person but they’d probably get destroyed.

  4. Wow, this is amazing! I love how trash put together in a certain way can make such beautiful shadows! I think different intensities of light would produce different shadows. High intensity would produce sharp and more defined shadow.

  5. I love that they do not just use anything to create the shadows. The pile of trash alone is a piece of art because the artists picked out every piece intentionally, and then placed them with great care. I love that the trash is so rugged, and yet the shadows have very smooth and graceful lines. Thanks for posting this!

  6. I found this to be pretty cool. I thought it was very interesting how they took random scraps of junk and threw them together to create art. The first one really blew my mind. It kind of makes me wonder how someone goes about starting a project like this. Do they just take random pieces, throw them together, and hope for the best? Or do they know exactly what their doing from the beginning?

  7. Very impressive, its hard to believe that the shadows could be made by organized piles of garbage, the artists are very creative. The shadows are so lifelike it’s hard to believe they aren’t cast by real people in the first picture. The heads on pikes are kind of weird, the one on the right looks like a skewer. Strange to think that at certain points in history people actually did that.

  8. These are so cool. Not only do they do a great job of showing contrast between light and shadows, but more significatnly they show that if you look at something from a different perspective, it is totally different. What at first glance looks like a pile of trash, viewed in a different way is actually a detailed and intricate shadow picture.

  9. These pieces are incredible! I wonder how long it takes them to get the exact image they want to be displayed on the wall. I would say there would a very different feelings felt towards these images if different colored lights were used. I wondered after reading your post, though, how precise the angle of the lighting had to be to create the images. Or was there even that much thought that went into the angle?

  10. This is some of the most clever art work I have ever seen. This is where I envy artists who not only see the beauty in others junk, but have the creativity to give it a whole spin for a shadow to create its own image. That it is a form of recycling, and thus not taking and adding into the global footprint: genius. The first image is quite appropriate that one of the shadows is almost in a thinking man pose, further translating that this art is more than the eye can see. Adding color would provide yet another dimension to mood emphasis.

  11. I really like shadow art, the fact that thy take junk and can find art in it is amazing. I think the light source does matter, maybe different light sources can depict detail in an art work.

  12. I find it interesting that the actual objects from the view you’re looking at them don’t look that they would give of a shadow that looks like that. It reminds me of those pictures that can be interpreted as a butterfly or horse or something like that. Very interesting. Where are/were these pieces located?

  13. This is really cool. I’ve never seen anything like this. By using different color lights I think they can completely change the mood of the piece.

  14. This type of art is amazing! I think its really cool how people are ale to actually garbage and junk and use it as art but not just the just they use the shadow of it. I thin that they can get their junk where from where ever, whether its actually junk from a yard or trash or if its just piles of things found around a house or something. I think that a different light source and different colors would affect the artwork because depending on what type of light is used it can change the mood and affection just like different colors with light can.

  15. This installation is amazing! I’ve actually seen these before but they never seize to impress me! These pieces are so intricate and beautiful. The detail and precision that must have gone into these is incredible. They shadows projected from such strange objects is amazing in itself. Are the objects placed together relevant to the shadow projected?

  16. I will be honest and say I didn’ t realize what this was until you clarified it in the blog…I scrolled up and had an “…ooooohh!!” moment haha and I really did love it! I would love to see these in person, to see the pile of trash and guess what it would be as a shadow. The shadows definately look real and i would love to see someone’s reaction after just looking at the shadows, especially the heads on the sticks! This goes along completely with the phrase “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”!

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