Visual Arts

Hari and Deepti's Light-Box Stories at Black Book Tomorrow

When you walk into the Black Book Gallery for the opening of Oh, The Places You Will Go! on Friday night, the lights will be turned off and the only thing you will see are the fantastical light-boxes of husband-wife duo Hari and Deepti.

See also: Filmmaker Guy Maddin on Cinematic Séances and the Brakhage Symposium

"The show will be an all-dark show, so no lights in the gallery except for the back-lit pieces. We want the viewers to be attracted, like moths to a flame, to our art, with no distractions," Hari says. "As one of our followers commented on Twitter, 'Let the light warm your soul.' The pieces are intricate, and we invite the viewers to be intimate and close to the pieces and be transported to the magical worlds we have created."

Each piece is a hand-cut sculpture that tells a story based on the couple's travels from India to Denver and through the American West. "We are lucky to be in Colorado amidst all the wilderness and amazing places you can travel, and we have been doing a bit of traveling this summer. So the show is our take on all the experiences of travel and all the inspirations that we have in our long journey from India to Denver to making it in the art scene," Hari continues.

"Our process is very collaborative, imaginative and whimsical. We usually brainstorm on an idea derived from our travels, experiences and stories, and we translate that into a sketch. The sketches are then transferred to a piece of translucent vellum and then we distribute work to cut the layers. Each layer is hand-cut and is different, so there are no two pieces that are same," Hari says. "We are constantly checking the pieces against light to get an idea of the finished product.

"The narratives in our light-boxes usually deal with the theme of exploration. We believe that we are all explorers, warriors on a path of discovery. We moved from India to Denver, and for us that was a journey of experiences, exploring the unknown," he adds.

"We love traveling and our favorite places are Moab and Yellowstone. We feel the scale of nature in these places and how we are so small compared to the mountains and the trees and how we are constantly exploring and adapting.

Keep reading for more about Hari and Deepti.

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Kyle Harris has been Westword’s Culture Editor since 2016, writing about the arts, music and film.
Contact: Kyle Harris

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