Shadows are a fascinating contribution to the atmosphere of rooms.

Shadows move. They add motion and movement to a space. Shadows move very slowly across surfaces as the sun moves through the sky. They appear each time the sun comes out and disappear when clouds float between the sun.

Sometimes shadows move quickly. Wind blowing the leaves of a tree or bush outside a window will create moving shadows inside a room. At night, flickering candles will create subtly moving shadows. These shadows can appear very soft and blurred compared to those created by a spot light.

Shadows and darkness hold strong mythical and metaphorical associations. Sometimes we see shadows as representing the unknown. We might carry fears of the darkness. We may want to run from the darkness to the light. Other times we might instinctively want to hide in the shadows. Shadows can represent the cold, refreshing on a hot day, foreboding on a cold one.

Try looking at your room in terms of light and dark. Be aware of the movement of shadows throughout the day. What is the relationship between your room and the sun. What happens if you put a plant, mobile or statue so that it creates new interesting shadows.

You can create very interesting atmospheres at night by playing with the relationship between lights or candles and other objects. What kind of shadows can you create and how do you feel with them?

Be aware of how shadows change through the year. In the winter, when the sun is lower in the sky, the sun can shine further into a room, creating long, deep shadows. Similarly, an east or west facing room will allow the sun the shine into a room. Sometimes the sun will shine onto another wall, through a window. When this happens you can put something on the window to create a shape on the wall. The shape will move and distort as the sun moves.

In this way you can create a room full of moving images that are connected to the cycles of nature. The room will express yin and yang, as well as the five elements through the shadows, reminding you of the time of day and year.

Enjoy experimenting, playing and creating engaging shadows.

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