Launch of the manual Spelen met schaduw en licht Playing with shadow and light and of the movie Top Hats

The shadow artist, whose skills are in need of re-evaluation today, can already amuse himself on a plain white sheet lit by a simple light source. Shadow art ranges from the handling of simple figures mounted on sticks to the expressive movement of one’s own body through dance and mime. The manual to Playing with Shadow and Light was developed by Art Without Bars for therapists and animators who can use it creatively in forensic hospitals and detention centres. It can also be used in other branches of the healthcare sector, in particular by those who want to work creatively with small groups.

The manual is edited by three animators from the project Top Hats who recorded their experience in spicy, and, at the same time, instructive dialogues between Carlo, an imaginary student and Marie, an experienced shadow art animator. The instructions cover five chapters: how to conceive and record stories, how to create visual material, how to move expressively, how to use audio material and finally, how to set up a shadow scene.

Richly illustrated, the book also contains numerous references to a film shot during a two-year project with so-called “Top Hats“, people with a criminal past. The title “Top Hats” refers to participants and supervisors who are seen at work in a two part shadow play and during its production. Dutch and French are spoken alternately while the film is subtitled in English.

Book and film are edited by Art Without Bars.
Content of the book: 108 p., 47 ill.; foreword by Minister K. Geens
Duration of the film: 35 min.




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