25 January 2024

From concrete to abstract

On December 12, 2023, students of the 1st Private High School of Fine Arts. Władysław Drapiewski in Płock took part in workshops on creating animations “From concrete to abstraction” organized as part of the “Stories” project.

When we put a comb, a bottle, a leaf, a tea strainer on the table and turn on the shutter of the camera, the image that the camera generates on its LCD screen will be a representation of the comb, a bottle, a leaf and a tea strainer on the table. It’s different when we put these objects on photo paper and turn on the light. The image that will be created in this way will no longer be an image of reality, but the reality of the PHOTOGRAPH. We just need to remember that the light must be “active” – ​​it “paints” the image.

You can use a light bulb, a flashlight, a candle or a lit match as a light source. By moving them, we observe the shadow dance. Light strokes three-dimensional objects and can lengthen or shorten shadows, brighten or darken them. It’s as fascinating as looking at a fire burning in the fireplace. Not the combustion itself, of course, but the process, the interplay of dark and light. Almost 100 years ago, Franciszka and Stefan decided to record this process taking place over time and create “photograms in motion”. This is how moving visions of images were created. Generated from concrete objects and light, they were not their image, but what they are, pure abstraction.

We recreated this fascinating process of imagination during our workshops. We found out how creative and exciting this activity is. We used a replica of a trick table designed by Stefan Themerson, a camera (i.e. a digital camera), various light sources, a laptop and a projector, and several everyday items. Effect? Beautiful, poetic animated films with light in the main role.

The workshops were conducted by Eliza and Radosław Łabarzewscy from the TOR Moving Image Creation Studio.