This must be up there with some of the best before and after photos ever, not just in street art. All thanks to a burst water main and the very talented Rogue-One.
Flooded just before painting began.
Concept: Hand shadow puppets
Location: Cowcaddens Subway underpass
We’re not historians here. We’re not physicists either. But light + obstructing object = shadow. So let’s assume that hand shadow puppetry, known to specialists as shadowgraphy or ombromanie, began with the caveman. Just assume. It’s not exactly well documented. Well perhaps it once was, across the cave walls of all good Neanderthal shadowgraphers during the Stone Age, around 2.5 million years ago.
Perhaps it originated over 2,000 years ago in China during the Han Dynasty, with Emperor Han Wudi’s shrewdest advisor conjuring the likeness of one of his Emperor’s recently deceased ladies. Hmmm. Or was it in India, a few hundred years earlier, as historical seals seem to show. Let’s stick with cavemen.
Wherever the origin lies its simplicity and portability make it one of the most accessible artforms from back in the day. But shadow puppets are not as popular as they once were, thanks to the likes of tv and gadgetry conspiring with the light bulb manufacturers – light bulbs don’t cast the sort of a-grade shadows that the common naked flame, once favoured by ancient shadowgraphists, do. The gym, new books, Jamie’s 15 minute meals, or any of the countless other distractions in our daily lives mean people just don’t sit around in a dark room with a torch awkwardly trying to make their hands look like a rabbit. Tis shame.
That was until Art Pistol got together with Rogue-One.
We were looking for something with a bit of wow factor to brighten up what was becoming an increasingly dingy, although very well used underpass. The concept was born, like a shadow from a flame, and off went Mr Rogue with the idea, a camera and a will to harass those he met into doing exactly that. “Here, hold your hands up like this and make them look like a squirrel… no, straighten the pinky, I need bigger ears.”
The rest is modern ombromanie history, as Rogue-One then delivered yet another world class display of painting. Hats off to you.
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