Set and Lighting Design Statement
Offline is a departure, a journey and an arrival to the edge of humanity. Glimpsing into the reflected world, it is a fractal. Each part is representative of the whole, the whole representative of each part. The beacon guides us through the tempest, the storm a reflection of our most tortured self, the shore, black cutting up from the life waters. The lighthouse: our only guide on the liminal threshold.
In 2013, I spent a short while kayaking along the Johnstone Straight, across from the Robson Bight Ecological Reserve for Marine Biology. What came out of my time in those verdant waters was an investment in the recognition and pursuit of natural, compositional, inspirations and a renewable approach to creation routed in understanding natural phenomena. Though what we create may be inorganic or unnatural, understanding the relation of space to environment is paramount to understanding the characters, or people, in relation to their ecological circumstance.
My process often begins with a dark void; all I need to do is turn on the first light. From the first image, my pen fills in the shadows. Offline, was… a curious process. The first image was a sound, a raven call. It was watching for me, maybe waiting, high up. The light I found there was small: a reflection in a dark beady eye, similar to the black stones underfoot. It was coming from a lighthouse above me surrounded by the woods, steep along this spit of land.
A lighthouse becomes a layered and complicated symbol when the characters in greatest peril, in search of guidance, are at the centre. Does a lighthouse still serve as a beacon to those closest to it? When we get too close to light, does light cease to exist if there is no shadow to understand it with? When we are too close to the answer, does it no longer appear clear? Too close to an image, does it pixelate? The void was still in this stage picture, it took residence as a black pool at the centre.
Now at the edge of humanity, the last thing I needed to find was what was left behind by the present story. The artifact in a broken cell phone on the rocks. The world became fractured then; stepped like the rising tide. When we experience personal tragedies or internal earthquakes it often distorts our view of each other; our processors begin to work less as a whole. So maybe ocean side, in the intertidal of tragedy, is the most hopeful place for the human experience? It was where my first reading ejected me to begin this design process; it left me here with a broken phone. Whether we are in the water or looking from the cliff side is circumstantial, but there is something soothing for me knowing the raven was there first. For curiosity or not, what Offline has given me is certainty we never should be at the edge alone. Community fuels the light.