Between the Temporal and the Eternal Falls the Shadow
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This thesis is composed of a number of fragments, each revealing an aspect of the dynamic, complex and reciprocal relationship that we form with architecture. Architecture is brought to life through the animation of light and shadow, through the construction of atmospheres and rhythms, and through the selection and use of materials which evoke time. We find meaning in architecture when it is able to communicating stories of our past, and when it is able to awaken emotions which are latent within us. Our connection with architecture is formed because we relate to it as a temporal art, and strengthened because it is through temporal and corporeal things that we understand the eternal and the spiritual. It is the existence of atmosphere in a space which seduces us to enter into a prolonged engagement with architecture. Atmosphere is that which lies at our core experience of time. We move through architecture, sensing its life through its materiality and its relationship to the environment. During this physical journey we also experience a mental journey, one which is stimulated by the unknown and driven by our imagination. This thesis posits shadow as a principle element of atmosphere, responsible for evoking life, mystery, depth, and seduction in architecture. The unknown world that exists inside each of us, and the world which exists on the far side of time, is always veiled in shadows. The fragments presented in this thesis are organized into two parts. The first group explores this argument in an abstract way, through a number of representational mediums including photography, film, literature, art and drawing. The second part focuses on an existing architecture, the Patient Built Wall at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Heath in Toronto.The Patient Built Wall is viewed as having a ‘thickness’ past its physical form; one that exists in our collective imagination as a result of the layers of history and time embedded within it. Each work presented in this section attempts to vivify the ‘life’ of the wall, and its ability to communicate meaning to an interested group. An exhibition of this work arranges these fragments spatially so that they can be understood in relation to one another, thereby forming a newly constituted whole. The aim is to create a communicative space which tests principles of light, shadow, reflection, movement and temporality, while exploring the tension that exists between our subjective and shared experience of architecture.