Shadow Energies

Musée Archéologique de Nice – Cimiez

“My collaboration with Le Musée Archéologique de Nice – Cimiez allows me the opportunity as an artist to have access to a distinctive collection that is normally off limits to the public. I was able to see, touch and experience the collection in a completely unique way. I discovered that the understated artefacts held in the museum reserves have as much interest or perhaps more, then the main exposed displays. These subordinated historic objects, consisting of fragmented glass vessels, pottery, utensils and human remains speak to elucidate the power of artefacts, value and ceremony. I use them as raw material. This collaboration with history and humanity creates a deeper understanding of myself and my place as a contemporary artist.

Working within the original architecture of this historic Gallo-Roman site I seek to open portals beyond the context of the museum with an intimacy to a past culture and reality. I attempt to capture the energy of these sacred artefacts and render them in a new light by making cyanotype prints, a type of visual representation that is simultaneously contemporary and timeless. It is my relationship with these historic artefacts that becomes a connective tissue to our common human history while honoring the aesthetic beauty created by our ancestors.”

Shiva Lynn Burgos

Invited for an artistic residency by Francisca Viudes, President of the Nice cultural association The (He)art for (He)art Program, these works are produced with the valuable participation of Betsy Green, an expert in 19th century photographic development techniques, the daily help of Bertrand Roussel, director of Musée Archéologique de Nice – Cimiez, the ongoing support of Robert Roux, deputy director of culture for the city of Nice and Thomas Aillagon, DG of culture for the city of Nice.



Working widely with ‘alternative’ photographic techniques the artist Shiva Lynn Burgos revisits the historic process of cyanotyping. First used nearly 150 years ago, the cyanotype was formerly described as a shadowgraph by the pioneering and perhaps first known female photographer Anna Atkins to document her findings in the natural world, Photographs of British Algae :Cyanotype Impressions. The process involves painting a ferric salt solution onto watercolour paper. Placing the subject then exposing to sunlight or an ultra violet light source results in the brilliant Prussian blue hue. The spiritual and celestial colour provokes an ethereal and emotional attraction. The painterly, alchemical ritual involved in the production echoes her experiences imbedded with the Kwoma people of Papua New Guinea. The artist has been inducted into the Kiava clan where artmaking is connected to the ritual washing of objects to attract the energy of spirits and ancestors. The resulting series POWER, PROTECTION, CURRENCY is a device to capture the shadow energy of precious objects the artist was given or collected in Papua New Guinea. For example, the feather crown of her father Chief Colin, amulets, bones, shell money and pre-historic stone tools. The interactions between chance, intuition, and inductive logic are inherent. The objects themselves
are represented by a lack of colour and manifest as negative space. We are confronted by the absence of the object and therefore, the artist reminds us of the temporality and fragility of indigenous cultures themselves.

POWER 1 Chief Cowboy
POWER 2 Bone Necklac
POWER 3 Guria Clan
POWER 4 Crown Chief Colin

PROTECTION 3 Penis Gourd

CURRENCY 1 Stone Tools
CURRENCY 2 Shell Money
CURRENCY 3 Net Tapestry