Sani and Nova, Lady with a Parasol, 2014

Sani and Nova, Edgar Degas Lady with a Parasol, 1870-72

Inspired by Edgar Degas, Lady with a Parasol, 1870-72.

We liked the dark tones of the work and we wanted to use the concept of light and shadows. The lady in the painting looked very isolated, and we were attracted to that.

I researched a lot about the painting but the only things I could really find was about the use of parasols, which women used to protect themselves and hide from the sun. We also learnt that the canvas was found in his studio after his death and that intrigued us, the work was never seen outside of his studio.

We wanted to include the notion of isolation in society so we took a series of images, and arranged them in a grid. Each image fades as you go along the grid. We took 12 images in the studio, we didn’t use any lighting as we wanted to use the idea of shadows. We used a long exposure time (speed shutter) to create those effects. All the work was done digitally, using black and white to reflect the painting’s black and white tones and echo the feeling of isolation.

We also composed two portraits that have a similar pose to the lady in the painting, looking away, as if looking away from society.

Inspired by:

Edgar Degas, Lady with a Parasol, 1870-72

Edgar Degas, Lady with a Parasol, 1870-72

Degas abandoned this work at a relatively early stage of preparation and it remained in the studio until his death. While some areas are quite sketchy, others, such as the woman’s profile and details of her hat are painted with great delicacy. This picture belongs to a group of works in which Degas explored the effect of light on the human figure. An old label on the back of the painting calls it At the Race-course, which may explain the woman’s elegant appearance.