we had no idea what we were in for …

Featured herein once before, my Flickr friend Kate Mmellersh returns with another powerful work.

Working with shadows of everyday subjects to create intriguing pseudo-abstracts is one of Kate’s fortes. She has produced many compelling works on that basis. Once more, here, she plays on the simplicity of a kitchen utensil – something we all take for granted, and allows it to come alive in an abstract way. The placement of the subject tightly in the corner of the frame, and the accompanying squeezed crop on the cast shadow allows it to dominate and express power: it is too great to be contained.

If the core subject of the image were the whisk itself, then the composition would comprise a significant area of negative space, but it the virtual instance of the utensil that is the real star here. This is achieved largely by the positioning of the dominant intersection of loops: vertically very near the mid-point, and horizontally on the right-side double golden ratio (1.618 : 0.618) – four lines coming together with breathing room about them. The general diagonal of the composition and the anchoring provided by the real whisk serve to enhance this.

The potential negative space is also avoided through the secondary light source, casting a softer shadow into the lower left corner of the image, and the use of slightly crumpled paper as the canvas. Together, they provide an exciting texture to occupy the straying eye.

An amazing completeness of detail from so simple a subject.

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  1. Shadow spirograph. If you’re not too pernickety about symmetry, of course 😉

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