A dark area which is formed when a light source is blocked by an opaque object is called a Shadow. Shadow occupies three dimensional volumes behind an object with light in front of it. One such example is a human body standing in daylight. Since light cannot pass through the body, a dark region is formed on the ground. This dark region is called shadow. Opaque objects form clear dark shadows. A transparent object does not make any shadow as light passes straight through it. Translucent objects create faint shadows as light is able to pass only partially through them.
While the presence of absence of light is responsible for forming shadows, there are other factors related to it that determine the shape and size of the shadows. If the angle of the light is smaller, then the shadow formed will be much longer than usual. If the object is very close to the light source, larger shadows are formed and if an object is moved away from the light source, the shadow becomes smaller in size. The size of the shadows is also determined by whether the object is in motion or not. The size of the shadow is always slightly longer and larger than the moving object.
The size of the light source also plays an important role in the formation of shadows. Bigger light sources form blurry shadows. If the light source originates from various directions and points, several shadows will be formed and some of them may even overlap. Depending on the colour of the light, one will also see shadows of different shades. Coloured shadows are formed when the multi-coloured light sources produce white light.
Tamil Nadu, the epic centre of South India’s cultural extravaganza is noted for a multitude of reasons ranging from its splendid temples, imposing monuments as well as an efflorescent art and culture manifested in its paintings, wood crafts and sculptures. Since ancient times, Tamil Nadu has been the focal point of art, culture and tradition. The various empires that ruled the land have left behind for posterity, a rich and varied heritage which bears testimony to the architectural grandeur and cultural heights of the various periods in history. Whether it is the splendid temples, architectural edifices, the magnificent Tanjore paintings or the revered art and dance forms, the beautiful Kanjeevaram saris or the historical monuments, Tamil Nadu holds a pride of place in the history of arts and culture in India. One such distinguished place is Swamimalai.
Swamimalai is a panchayat town near Kumbakonam in Thanjavur. District in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It lies on the banks of river Kaveri and is one of the six abodes of the Lord Muruga. Swamimalai Bronze Icons refers to bronze idols and statues manufactured in Swamimalai. It has been recognized as a Geographical indication by the Government of India in 2008-09. During the reign of Chola empire, Raja Raja I commissioned a group of sculptors for the construction of the Brihadeeswarar Temple at Thanjavur. The sculptors helped sculpt statues for Airavatesvara Temple and later settled at Swamimalai. Woodcraft is a burgeoning revenue generating industry in Swamimalai. The state whose skilful craftsmen once depended upon the patronage of the ancient monarchs to earn their livelihoods is now teeming with talented local villages and artisans whose expertise is manifested in the variety of indigenous artefacts created by them.
Shadow can play a very powerful role in defining form by giving the object a three-dimensional feel. In addition, artists can take good advantage of shadow to define form by highlighting how different portions of an object are at different depths and therefore the object closer to the light will cast a shadow on the more distant object. Shadows play an essential role in how we perceive the world and have for a long time captured the imagination of artists and stage performers.
Since shadows have existed since the existence of objects obstructing light, it is hard to say when the art was first used by humans for entertainment. It could have been practiced by ancient or later humans, but it probably originated in the Far East.
Shadow art is a form of storytelling and entertainment which uses flat articulated cut out figures which are held between a source of light and a translucent screen or scrim. The cut-out shapes of the objects are cut only in selected places. The real key to making shadow art isn’t the shadow itself, but the light and the objects blocking the light that eventually come together to make an image in the darkness. That’s why it’s actually a bit surprising that so few of the artists working with this format have experimented with objects that do not block the light, but instead just manipulate it.
Colored shadows, for the most part, are generated when the multicolored light sources produce white light. If there is no white, the complementary hue for the lights that are being blocked will be reflected on the shadow. For example, if the light is blue, then the shadow that will appear is red, while for green, it can be yellow or purple, depending on the shade.