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25 November 2009

By Susan Bennett

photo of a series of lightboxes Photo by Minako Jackson

Sally Booth's lightboxes play with shadows, dramatic shifts of reflection, refraction and shade to create beautiful new perspectives on ordinary scenes

Image: Photo by Minako Jackson

Sally Booth received the Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary in 2008. A series of light boxes inspired by her subsequent residency at the Bluecoat, Liverpool is on show there until 5 December 2009. Susan Bennett visited.

It was yet another wet afternoon in Liverpool but a good day for seeing DaDaFest exhibitions without distraction – unless you count the challenge of finding them! I got lost at the Bluecoat, the oldest building in Liverpool, trying to find Sally Booth’s light boxes.

I went past them twice but did not spot them as I wound my way through a colourful set of paintings featuring lurid skulls, volcanoes and a horrifying guidebook on anatomy.

It was only when I came across an exhibit upstairs containing an expanse of newly laid turf smelling of freshly watered lawn did I realise that those boxes opposite the lift were what I had really come to see.

They consist of a series of eight photographs featuring the Bluecoat’s oval windows in varying degrees of light. The result is an unusual set, mostly black and white. They play with shadows, dramatic shifts of reflection, refraction and shade to create beautiful new perspectives on ordinary scenes.

So watch out for these. Literally. They are easy to miss. Can we have clearer signage please, Bluecoat?

photo of artist standing with lightboxes Photo by Minako Jackson

Sally Booth stands among her lightboxes on show at the Bluecoat

Image: Photo by Minako Jackson

Sally Booth says of her work: ‘The Bluecoat’s beautiful oval windows inspired me from the beginning. I photographed the light and shadows cast by the windows. Sometimes light, diffuse and soft; sometimes abstracted, sharp or almost invisible.'

The Adam Reynolds bursary was established by the arts organisation Shape and Adam's family and friends to help deaf and disabled artists. Read more about the Adam Reynolds bursary on the Shape website.

Audio description is available on an MP3 player at the information desk in the Bluecoat reception area.


Sally Booth Exhibition

17 November – 5 December
The Bluecoat, School Lane, Liverpool
Open daily, 10am – 6pm, FREE
Telephone: 0151 702 5324

To see more of Sally Booth's work, visit her website.


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