Firelight, 2013

Author: Anna Barriball

Video on a loop.

Duration: 20' 49".

Seven different looping videos flicker on the monitors displayed on the floor. The images are presented like a ghostly game: they breathe, blink and move at different paces. They show shadows and reflections, exploring the effects of natural and artificial light. The presence of colour in her work has grown in recent years, and each video has a different colour hue inspired by the use of film tinting in silent films to convey certain moods or lighting effects. Some of the images seem abstract as a result of the photos taken by the artist through a window at night in an unlit space.

In Daylight, the shadows of leaves tremble and sway in real time, coming in and out of focus as the sun breaks through the clouds. The moving image is interrupted with blank paintings and turns yellow with the intense sunlight. The stills from the video Moonlight were taken at night through the windows of buildings with no light using a digital camera, automatic zoom and flash. The camera was attempting to find a point to focus on. The resulting images are always a surprise: dust on a glass surface, the artist's reflection and the reflected glint of the camera’s own light are all combined with glimmering from beyond the window. She turns these images into negatives and edits them. Sometimes they come in rapid succession; or else they fade into one another.

Barriball is fascinated by windows and their purpose as barriers between the inside and outside worlds. She is interested by the surprise and revelation of the image, by what the camera picks out automatically.