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The Comedy of Errors

Art Works: Kate Shipman-Shiel

13 October 19 interview: LeftLion

When does a reflection or shadow become as physical as a 3D object? At what point does light become a sculptural component in an installation? What is solid, what is immaterial and does it really matter?

My work looks at the importance of the curious gaze on natural phenomena.

My main interests have always been light, reflections and space – I love stage set design and how it can be capable of creating new worlds. I’ve always experienced light reflections, especially of water, as very transcendental experiences. It bridges the physical with other realms.

I made this piece for the Castle Ruins exhibition. The theme for this year was 'For Health, Strength and Beauty’ so I was interested in exploring the esoteric notions of elemental significance; how the primal idea of the four elements enables life on earth.

This work is part of a new body of pieces I am working on. I’ve finally moved away from light, glass and water. For a long time I was totally focused on those things which became quite limiting, and I was experiencing a severe case of artist’s block. This opportunity has been an amazing way for me to break out of my dormant creative state.

Another big project of mine was an installation at Light Night. I had a huge perspex tank made, filled it with water, hung a massive mirror from the wall outside World Service, and cast a big rainbow on the opposite buildings. I love watching people’s faces when they gaze into the light and water reflections – it can send you into a dreamy state, and that’s exactly what I want people to experience.

It was difficult moving away from my comfort zone. I’m still working with light, but it’s a lot more of a compact piece – not as fragile or temporal. And there are no glass tanks involved this time.

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