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The book “The Light of Art on Stage” by Yaron Abulafia primarily talks about light from an artistic point of view as it has been incorporated into the contemporary theatres. What is more, this book offers the chronology of theatrical illumination over the years by the various artists, such as Sir Henry Irvin and David Belasco, just to mention a few. Upon reading this book, what intrigued me the most is the use of light in the visual arts. When used in this context, light has a great impact not only on the performers by increasing the aesthetics but it also brightens the mood of the audience when blended well. One ought to think that light in the contemporary theatres resulted from technological advancement but interestingly, the use of light in visual arts can be traced as early as the medieval times. Illumination fulfilled various functions, including aesthetics as well as poetics in during the earlier years just it is doing in the modern era. For instance, the most significant medieval arts that incorporated light to give an artistic meaning were shiny objects, including metals and stones. These shiny items were used to convey different meanings in diverse forums, such as in religion where shiny metals and stones represented the ‘light of God.’ In the traditional era, artists would also make drawings of individuals and use a lot of light to signify angels, home or even purity in Christianity.
In addition, I found it interesting to learn that the way we interpret the artistic meanings of light in art is theoretical and also philosophical. For instance, structuralism, which is a philosophical theory, provides a framework in which communication among individuals can be explained in the case of semiotics. As such, there is an explanation as to what every art or theatre performance that uses light means and therefore, the meaning is not independent of every audience but rather, generalized. The 2nd chapter has also offered six grounds in which light can be attributed to imagery in theatre. They include narrative, a dramatic action, sensation of light itself, the mood, open meaning, and character. For instance, in a narrative, light imagery can be represented as iconic signs, diagrams, and symbols. The fascinating thing about the use of light imagery in literature is that authors can conceal it so that the readers can think critically. For examples, in stories, light-image can be embodied in the playwright’s instructions or even in the spoken words.
Image 1
This image is basically displaying the illumination if five different figures who are in different postures in a theatre. The five individuals cannot be seen clearly and what can be figured out is their dark images rather than the real images. This is because if the light they have been subjected to, which is based on the rooftop of the room that they are in. This light does not reach them on the ground but it lights the most part of the two walls. The light produces some blue lighting on the bottom part of the walls and it makes the five figures appear dark. Nevertheless, two of the women can be identified as wearing white gowns. This kind of illumination makes the performances by the actors interesting since they are dancing. As such, their moves can be clearly seen clearly by the audience.
Works Cited
Abulafia, Yaron., The Art of Light on Stage: Lighting in Contemporary Theatre. 2016. Print.
Jácome, IMTD et al. Influence of Artificial Lighting On The Performance And Egg Quality Of Commercial Layers: A Review. 2018. Accessed 30 Apr 2018.