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Mal Sobczac

Shadow Printing

[Image description] A wooden pallett resting up against a white wall, with its shadow painted behind it

Sitting at the back of multiple shops and houses, 66A Fife Road functions half as a car park, half as public space – and is filled with discarded objects.

We monitored this space for a month and found that, while refuse trucks and skip collectors came and went, whatever was left around the space was not cleared away.

[Image description] Photo of the white wall with the pallette removed and the painted shadow remaining

While observing the area, we noticed was that wherever something had been removed from the premises (such as a parking sign, road lettering on the ground and disused public toilets), a mark was left behind. We wondered whether pre-emptively making these marks could play a part in shifting discarded objects out of the space.

[Image description] Close-up shot of one corner of the pallett and its painted shadow.

Shadowprinting is a technique that Mal Sobczac and I developed to bring these objects to the attention of the council

We selected three discarded objects and picked a bright day to paint their shadows with water-soluble paint.

[Image description] Photo of a chair on a red brick floor, with its shadow painted behind it.

When we returned a few days later, these objects (which had remained for over a month) had been taken away, leaving only their shadows, which would be washed away in the rain

[Image description] Photo of the red brick floor, with the chair removed and the shadow remaining.

[Image description] Photo of a traffic code beside a large bin, with its shadow painted behind it.

[Imagedescription] Photo of a the traffic cone's shadow left behind next to the bin.