Shadow Puppet is a video installation and group of photographs that document a series of short performances in which Sawyer attaches pieces of cardboard and plastic to her body, effectively turning herself into a life-sized shadow puppet. The characters whose silhouettes are cast on the wall – dinosaur, warrior princess, old woman, and wolf – are a visually jarring contrast to the body of the artist positioned before them. The shadows, which are reminiscent of Ray Harryhausen animations, seem to engage in a dialogue with the artist, giving the impression that they are independently animated. Blurring the boundaries of what is real and what is a trick of the light, Shadow Puppet addresses the successes and failures of the artistic process committed to improvisation.
2015 Shadow Puppet. Republic Gallery, Vancouver