“Counteracting a dominant anthropocentric view of the universe, my photomedia series explores the viscerality of light to emphasise non-human agency. I photographed light waves interacting within heritage glass and different states of water at close range. Initially, I focused on patterns of water in various forms before discovering an aurora-like display within my 19th Century studio window pane at the former Callan Park asylum. By day I would look through this open window, surveying glimpses of trees and boats on the far shore. Then one afternoon I returned when it was shut and noticed how slanted sunlight penetrated the undulating glass.
The fading sunlight was partially obscured by nearby branches, swaying in the wind, making the window pane flicker between light and shadow. In this liminal zone of uncertainty, starry trails punctured the darkness as light bounced around the textured glass, transforming itself in a process of disintegration. Entranced by this visual drama happening before my eyes as the sun dipped towards the horizon, I reached for my camera to record these fleeting light diffractions. These miniature light patterns, happening regardless of whether humans are there to witness it, illustrate the interconnectedness of the visible and invisible world.”
- Bernadette Smith