Dark Drawings

-an installation and exhibition "performance"  

I am captivated by the powerful impact of art on the psyche. My work is about the use of image, archetypes, metaphor and ritual to expand our understanding of relationships — among individuals, between individuals and their world, and in this case between any individual viewer and their own magical unconscious contents.  

The Dark Drawings ehibition makes this invisible magic visible, ironically, by shedding darkness on it!

Project Statement

Late one night as I drew in my studio by the light of a dying lantern I inadvertently discovered a new flexibility of the drawing medium.  Surprisingly, the dynamic value range of these drawings (the lights and darks) rather than diminishing in low light, significantly expanded.  Creating and viewing these particular drawings in low light uses darkness as a kind of translator to change the effect– and therefore the meaning– of the images.

The “power of suggestion” is a common psychological effect that is the cause of our mistaking glimpsed strangers for friends or finding Jesus's face in a cheezetoast.  But in this exhibit the effect can be in essence turned on and off at will without touching the work, clearly demonstrating that the strange luminosity of these peculiar images exist mostly in the mind rather than in the physical world.  

Art is a co-creative process. Dark Drawings presents evocative images that stimulate the mind's supersensitive receptors to infuse a suggested image with stirring effect.  In full light subtle values that seem present in the dark actually vanish or sometimes even the theme itself changes.   This points up that
crucial factor that makes viewing good art such a deeply magical and powerful experience: the viewer's imagination!

Technical Page

The Artist

It is impossible to approximate the special viewing conditions necessary to view the art works in the proper situation in full light or on a computer screen.  However, this drawing, executed in the dark, gives an idea of the kind of "impressionist" treatment that many Dark Drawings share.

"Sculptures by Tim Holmes deserve being displayed in the best museums of the world." -- Mikhail Piotrovsky, Hermitage Director

Creative  Commons  Copyright  •  2010  •  Tim Holmes Studio

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