I deliver myself to the present moment when drawing these light sculptures, which only ever existed for the digital eye of the camera, never really being perceived as a whole by a human witness.
The series is the result of several years of research on long exposure photography, and the usage of ND filters was vital to find a perfect balance between the fading twilight and the brightness of the fireworks. Only a few attempts were allowed per day, since the time frame during which this balance is possible is very narrow (30 to 50 minutes). The Brazilian central plateau, in a kind of savana called “Cerrado” was the scenery for most of these experimentations. The margins of the lake Paranoa, the streets and some iconic monuments from Brasilia were also locations for some of the light paintings. It’s important to say the series is an ongoing process, and more will follow in the coming year or so.
Apart from general contrast and color adjustments in all images and a process of overlay of bits of light paintings from two or more pictures to compose some of the final images presented, the result is basically untouched, conceived entirely from real performance with fireworks.
By creating these images, which I refer to as Impermanent Sculptures, I draw the viewers attention to abstract concepts taking place in real environments. Concepts to be interpreted and explored freely by whomever this work reaches.
To paint with light in a three-dimensional space is to bring one’s thoughts from unconscious realms and ancient symbols into existence and turn them into something intriguing, yet beautiful and integrated with the landscape.
Trees of Life (a series within Impermanent Sculptures)
The image of the most vigorous white tree standing alone before a clean horizon was achieved overlaying 12 pictures taken consecutively on location, 9 performing light paintings with fireworks in different parts of the three, with the assistance of a long rod which I manipulated from the ground and also from up the canopy, where I climbed while my assistant managed the camera. I also shot 3 pictures firing a flash to illuminate the three as a whole. Nothing was created on photoshop apart from the process of overlaying images with the lighten blending mode on Photoshop and, of course, some contrast and color adjustments.
The tree I refer to is called “Cagaita”, it blossoms only during a couple of weeks per year, replacing all its leaves by white flowers when the dry season is coming to an end and the rains begin to fall again. Thus the use of fire, with cautions, to portray this landscape enhances the heat and dry aspects of the environment at this time of year in central Brazil.
Other trees from the series are also typical from the Cerrado fauna, and many of them will loose all its leaves and blossom pink, yellow or white flowers for a week or two, during the winter, or dry season, since in Brasilia, winter and summer only differ by the amount of rain that falls, not influencing much on the day temperature.