Ideas behind “Cast Shadows”:

1. The process of casting iron is a fleeting event that leaves residue in different ways. Works submitted address this phenomenon in various way.
2. Artists who utilize cast iron produce “permanent” products in iron not only as work unto itself, but also as document to the event.

3. Iron casting process is connected to a long history of metal art, industry, and human history. Cast iron artworks are in a sense living in the shadows cast by this rich past. As well, contemporary artists are casting their own shadows onto those around and into the future.

4. There is a digital relationship between the curators from Illinois and North Carolina. There is a line like a cast shadow from a sundial that goes back and forth between Denton and Akagawa, two gnomon.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Gabriel Akagawa

ECU Foundry Tree
Tar paper, photographs, soapstone, chalk. 7' x  3'

Foundry Tree is a photographic project documenting the lineage of contemporary artists working with cast iron. Each artist is photographed individually wearing his or her safety equipment. The relationships between teachers, mentors and/or students are recorded through these digital photographs that are later mapped into a genealogy at

The documenting process began at the 2009 National Conference on Cast Iron Art at Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham, Alabama when over 250 people were photographed. Many of ECU's faculty and students were included. This project is an artwork meant to link generations of artists casting iron. The physical, photographic "tree" on a wall at Cast Shadows is complemented by the web-based entity acting as a resource for artists.

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