Avril Ward is well known for her beautiful paintings and androgynous sculptures, as well as her ability to use an array of two- and three-dimensional methods to express her artistic visions.
Her upcoming exhibition, “Cast,” a study in light and shadows, displays these varied talents as she diversifies into photography as a medium of expression.
The exhibition at the Dart Auditorium at the National Gallery is a collection of black-and-white images of cast shadows on translucent paper. The images are mainly abstract, but upon inspection, one can also see what has cast the shadow. Ward’s use of translucent paper allows for ink saturation and a translucency which highlights the soft edges of the images.
Ward says she is fascinated with shadows because they are so transient. “Always moving, changing a bit like clouds, which are another subject I love to study,” Ward says. “Also, the way shadows distort and form designs of their own.”
Ward began work for the exhibition in March while she was in South Africa, where there is a strong contrast of light and dark in the Southern Hemisphere mornings. “As I started shooting [the images] … I knew I wanted to exhibit them as a body of works,” she said. She spent the next seven months capturing images for the collection.
This will be Ward’s first photography exhibition. “I have always taken photos,” she said, “but do not consider myself a photographer. However, this was, in my opinion, the best medium to convey what I wanted to express with this exhibition.”
The use of photography is another string on Ward’s bow, and a reminder of the fluidity of her work, in methods, style, color and subject.
“I see my work constantly changing,” the artist said. “I do feel I am moving into a deep expression of how I see the world around me and who I am as a unique person.”
When asked what’s next, Ward says, “Your guess is as good as mine. I don’t preempt what will come next, I just get an idea and execute it. My aspirations, however, are to produce very large works with emotive, healing and encouraging content for public places.”
“Cast” runs until Nov. 28. All of the works exhibited are for sale. Ward will also hold a short lecture on the inspiration behind her exhibition, and the medium used, on Nov. 19 from noon to 1 p.m., which will be followed by question and answer time.