Shadow Sail Theatre - exploring glass shimmers as part of a new year stage set

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Photo by Camellia Nieh

Beside you, in shadow                                                                                                                      Alveoli tendrils turn to feather                                                                                                          Splice eyes from which to see                                                                                                              This is the way to transform                                                                                                                    To merge the dark with light

Shadow Workshop at ArtsWells Festival B.C.

Teaching a shadow workshop as part of ArtsWells Festival in Northern BC. Participants explored mask work, layering illuminations, and utilizing found materials, including oil, wine, coloured acetate, string and disco balls to create ambient effects!

Shadow Sail Theatre at the Oregon Eclipse Festival!

Sparks Designs set up an immersive kinetic shadow environment within the pines of Big Summit Prairie, Ochoco National Forest. Put on by 13 collaborating international events, the week long Oregon Eclipse Festival had approximately 40,000 attendees gather to witness the eclipse!

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A haunting forested still from a shadow short created by Islando and Heather Sparks

Shadow Pop Up Book

A little Flashlight magic lights up pages of a shadow pop up book I just finished creating for Nayana Fielkov and Isabelle Kirouac's exquisite performance "Habitats".

Shadow Screens at Beloved's Vote for Dancing

Shadow Sail Theatre was set up as an interactive shadow lounge alongside main stage at Beloved Festivals "Vote For Dancing". Found materials, including lace, glass, recycled colored plastics, translucent diffraction film, and intricate paper cuts were transformed into projected works of art to create lyrical shadow environments. Shadow hosts invoked revelers to don paper lace masks to join the shadow scene as animated silhouettes.

*Plasma cut aluminum tree screens by SparksDesigns. Poetry paper-cuts and paper lace masks by Heather Dawn Sparks*

Prayers Illuminated

I've been working with talented aerialist Noa Schnitzer as of late to create and direct a series of shadow sequences for her new one woman show. Her show reflects on prayer, engaging the conversations that straddle the worlds of habit and change.

*Ink etched poetry in hebrew, paper-cut set and puppet pieces by Heather Dawn Sparks* 

Days and Days of Rain

The rains came and filled their cups, upending them into the sea                                             Opening their brellies, they sailed towards the edge of the mist                                                     Where they hoped the sun might still be    

*Paper-cut projection Heather Sparks*

*Paper-cut projection Heather Sparks*

Shadow Wolf A Whistlin


A few sweet stills from a video short made for High Step Society, Eugene OR. Created from trash, treasure, tiny paper cuts and the smallest of idea seeds. Artist Cred: Heather Dawn Sparks and Ethan Rainwater


Shadow Sail Theatre featured at the Lightcatcher Museum

An evening of participatory shadow art during Bellingham's Art Walk

Photography by Eric Parthum

*Plasma cut aluminum tree shadow screens and visual light projections by SparksDesigns. Shadow Dancers: Julia Light, Charlie Rae, Wendy Wynazz, Sox, Eric Parthum, Michael Jepperson, & Heather Sparks. Live Music by Islando Sparks, Karl Kummerle & Bemyanymh*  

Teleidoscopic Studies

Sky with rainwater, blue plastic, glass crystals on artist's desk, textiles, moss, Autumn Joy Stonecrop in flower, Chamomile, textiles.

A teleidoscope uses mirrors, a lens, and an open view to form fractured patterns from objects outside the instrument. Unlike kaleidoscopes, they have no object-case, rather the object is the world surround. 

*Photo Studies by Heather Dawn Sparks*

Shadow Sail Theatre Wins Burning Man Global Arts Grant!

Big News! Shadow Sail Theatre became one of eighteen internationally selected works of interactive art to win the Burning Man Global Arts Grant. This grant is dedicated to projects outside of the annual Burning Man event that bring interactive, community building and cutting edge art to the streets. Winners of the grant spanned locations throughout the U.S. as well as Czech Republic, France, England, and the Philippines. 

*Plasma cut aluminum tree screens by SparksDesigns. Shadow Dancers Drea Lusion and Heather Dawn Sparks*

Mere Phantoms

Montreal, Canada's Mere Phantoms play with 3-d cut paper and special lights to create layered depths of shadow