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 is heading to the Oregon Eclipse Festival!

SparksDesigns will be setting up an immersive shadow environment within the large pines of Big Summit Prairie, Ochoco National Forest. Put on by 13 collaborating international events, the Oregon Eclipse Festival is expecting approximately 30,000 attendees to come together to witness the once in a lifetime eclipse!

SparksDesigns vision includes creating a shadow lounge environment using plasma cut shadow screens and white boat sails to define a zone that they can receive shadow imagery. Suspended at center will be an onion dome tree pod 8’ in diameter, 12’ tall with lantern relief designs cut into copper sheeting with inlaid glass that can be activated from within using suspended lights to support interactive shadow play. Low flying rigged walkways, illuminated relief cut lanterns, and weaving between trees will set the ambiance.  

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

Micro Theatre "Soon this Space will be too Small"

Immersive theatrical environments featuring stilt houses from snips of cardboard, clouds made from paper, black paper thorns and barbwire fencing, whispy fabric with a little light, a little magic, a whole lot of shadow.

From the micro theatre project "Soon the Space Will Be Too Small". Part of a series of immersive art environments animated by intimate performances that overtook the dark recesses beneath the Cultch Theatre in Vancouver, BC. A collaboration between visual artists: Alicia Cha, Caroline Ballhorn, Brodie Kitchener, Jordan Bent, Heather Sparks and an additional cast of performers from the Dusty Flowerpot.