Edmund de Waal


A short history of the shadow


3 Burlington Gardens


Black aluminium shelves with porcelain vessels


10.0 x 8.0 x 280.0 cm and 15.0 x 8.0 x 280.0 cm

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  • A short history of the shadow by Edmund de Waal

    The title of this piece is taken from a book that has meant a lot to me, Victor Stoichita's 'A Short History of the Shadow'. I've always been interested in how resonant shadows can be. They are beautiful indications of the passing light during the day, of course, but they also gather around and between objects in a way that seems to resemble memory. In this piece, I've tried to make a work that can hang high above people coming and going during their days work. It is meant to be a benevolent presence, something seen intermittently as you go past and constantly in flux.

    All the vessels are thrown in Limoges porcelain and glazed in an array of different black glazes with different textures and shininess. The installation is held between two black aluminium shelves, appearing to be like words on a page, or people passing through a building, or a glimpse of a musical phrase, but I hope it is also and at the same time, resistant to any particular definition.