04.09.2013 by Charles Burns
When I first discovered the art of silhouette it seemed like a tiny corner in the world of art, unloved by the fine-art establishment. Back then, the thought of a silhouette documentary was hard to imagine. Today, I’m amazed by the journey which silhouette has led me on. Silhouette found me as an unknown artist – working on a stall in Covent Garden – and introduced me to the world of corporate entertainment. After putting me through a royal event or two silhouette led me to become an author (“Mastering Silhouettes” was published in 2012.) Then one day, I was amazed to hear myself introduced as an art historian. Now ,they seem about to turn me into a documentary filmmaker and TV presenter as well. I wonder where it will all end?
Silhouette (working tittle) is a short documentary film I’m making, in collaboration with my colleague Andi Reiss. We’ve been planning this project for a number of years. The film will look back at some of the secrets and techniques used by silhouettists of the past. I’m aiming to give silhouettes a contemporary twist by trying them out on a modern audience, looking to see how people react. We aim to fiWill anyboylm it in a quirky and entertaining manner, full of unexpected visual references to the shadows and silhouettes we see around us everyday.
When thinking about how to fund such a project, Andi & I decided to see if we could crowd fund it using Kickstarter. I’m sure you’ve heard about crowdfunding in the media recently. The principle is to get major artistic projects off the ground using social media to find hundreds of backers. Each backer contributes a modest amount in return for artistic rewards. So, early this morning, we launched a month-long Kickstarter campaign. We have had a lot of fun over the past few weeks, writing and planning rewards, and have created what I hope is a professional-looking presentation. You can see a taster video (which includes some shots of me in action) on our Kickstarter campaign page.
Do let me know what you think, or if you have any suggestions to improve it. Perhaps you will even be tempted by one of the rewards I am offering and become a backer 😉
In the middle of all this excitement, of course, the real life of the silhouettist must go on. With this in mind I am exhibiting next week at the Square Meal Venues & Events Live show in Old Billingsgate. It would be great to see you if you are planning to go. You’ll find me cutting silhouettes on Pod # M41. Whether your interest is in art, corporate events or filmmaking I’m sure we can find plenty to talk about! As the name implies it may even be possible to find lunch at the show.