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Shadow and Light as a Window to Other Dimensions


I have been conducting my research on shadow since I built my first shadow-play object during my MA course (about 1996). In later years I developed my work adding to the objects also reflected light. About 2007 I started to shoot observed phenomenon of shadow-play.

In my theoretical work I want to reflect on how the images limited to shadow and light can relate to the wider reality and how it can produce phenomenon called by W Benjamin ‘profane illumination’, or other words awareness of the unseen and unspeakable.

Light and shadow being immaterial phenomenon, purely two – dimensional reality inseparably attached to our three – dimensional world  rises the question of existence of other dimensions, immaterial and invisible. Thus, in my work light and shadow is inseparably related to the space.


Watching the shadow and light appearing and disappearing on the casual object, be it a wall, ceiling or anything else we are confronted with a mysterious change of the nature of this object. The uncanny metamorphose takes place thanks to which an everyday thing becomes a cinematic screen and a metaphorical window to other dimensions. This metamorphose has also another aspect. As it reveals a double nature of an object – screen, at the same time it exposes the multidimensional nature of  the material object endowed with its shadow and light version.


So far, this exchange concerned only physical space, three - and two - dimensional, but watching the display of shadows and lights one cannot escape the impression of witnessing something more than just a projection of a figure on a plane. Is it caused by their ephemeral nature, phenomenal beauty, or deeply rooted in our consciousness symbolical sense, whatever is the reason, the mistycal aspect of the shadow-play can be sensed strongly.



Geometrical Symbolism in Byzantine Icons and Geometric Abstraction in the 20c. Searching the Roots.

Interview with Peter Halley 2010

From Physical to Mystical Light: The Evolution of the Idea of Light in Paweł Kwiek's Works in 1974 - 1980

PhD thesis:


An Analysis of the Motifs of Light and Shadow in Arabesque (Germaine Dulac, 1929), Pharmacy (Franciszka and Stefan Themerson, 1930) and Wavelength (Michael Snow, 1967) in the Context of an Associated Practice-Based Research Project


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