Harikrishnan Panicker and Deepti Nair or more commonly known as Hari & Deepti, artistic couple from Colorado are well known for their paper craft light boxes. Their collaborative work often takes on images of scenes of nature and the unknown such as dark mystical landscapes of deep sea adventure. These twee pieces appeal because of their simplistic flowing shapes and easy to understand images that successfully tell stories with just the use of one image, leaving space for the viewer’s imagination to take on its roll and create the full story for themselves.
They don’t overcomplicate the pieces by not using coloured paper and keeping the illustrations fairly straight forward which gives these pieces their charm and appeal. The use of the light adds depth to the images making them appear to be a 3D scene rather than an image created from a very 2D material. The light also adds to the adventurous, magical effect that the illustrations have created, adding the soft moonlight on a woodland tale or creating dull light at the bottom of the ocean.
“Paper is brutal in its simplicity as a medium. It demands the attention of the artist while it provides the softness they need to mould it in to something beautiful. It is playful, light, colourless and colourful. It is minimal and intricate. It reflects light, creates depth and illusions in a way that it takes the artist through a journey with limitless possibilities.” – Hari & Deepti (http://www.theblackbookgallery.com/artists/hari-deepti/) I completely agree with the pairs choice on material and the viewpoints that back up their choice. Paper being the simplest medium an artist can work with adds a professional simplistic aspect to any paper craft piece, therefore taking nothing away, especially not attention from the piece whatever it may be. In this case I would say this is even more important as the beauty and charm of these pieces weather on their own or as a series comes from their simplicity and ability to tell an uncomplicated story.
The combination of the childlike illustrations, lack of colour and the aid of a soft light, almost resemble a night light reminding the viewer of the childhood, a night light being a source of comfort and security while the illustrations tell a story, associated with parenthood and night time. No matter your age, as a viewer you can get lost in the capturing depth and beauty of these particular pieces while feeling a sense of nostalgia as an adult or reassurance as a child of their comfort coming from the soft light.
Images from – http://www.theblackbookgallery.com/artists/hari-deepti/