L'ombre, installation by Patricia Houin at ArToll's

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Suspended from the high ceiling we see long white silk fibres hung over a ring, forming a closed round curtain. Another round structure, consisting of a thick layer of unprocessed dark sheep wool, lies under it, slightly displaced. The large 50 square meter room, with its 4 meter ceiling, contains only these two objects. “L'ombre”, (shadow) is the name of the group.
As the dark circle is not directly placed under the silk structure it is possible to enter the enclosure without disturbing the wool. The great charm of this ensemble is that it invites one to spin tales.

Compared to the coarse wool fibre, which is fatty, dirty and short, the thin and light silk fibres naturally possess a shiny gloss and can be longer than 1000 meters. The art work expresses this beautifully. The curtain's fibres move easily in the swirling wind of passing people and draw their attention; the dark wool on the floor is unresponsive to the movements of spectators and is neglected by them. Heavenly and earthly aspects of the two materials are perfectly set against each other, one thinks, but the feeling of natural loftiness of the silk fibres is spoiled by the knowledge that the larvae inside their silk cocoons have to be killed, whereas wool is a sustainable product and deserves therefore, for modern people, the more elevated position. The pleased eye and the hurt heart tell conflicting stories.

But this elevated, lucid silk structure, almost like a crown, could also draw attention to the role silk and other merchandise played in fruitful cultural exchange during centuries between countries as far as Japan and as close as Turkey, Greece and Italy. Silk, a tangible symbol for the light that once shone over a large part of the earth.

May others spin other tales and be inspired by this fine work of art!

Les milles rayons de pure lumière / brillant comme clair de lune
ils jettent un ombre très épais / des laines noires et brunes
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