Umbral Ocean

Feb 2-3 & 9-10, 6–10 PM

Umbral Ocean unveils a canvas where shadows weave tales of elusive creatures, inviting you to decipher the secrets hidden within the intricate patterns cast by colored lights.

The umbra is the part of a shadow that receives none of the light from the source. “In Umbral Ocean,” the umbra of an object creates a black shadow, while penumbras (partial shadows) generate color through mixed light from unobscured LEDs.

As human eyes endure constant RGB light, deep-sea creatures navigate their world through the lens of hundreds, even thousands, of feet of water. The deeper you go, the more light is absorbed by the water. First red, then purple, then yellow, green, and eventually the blue. Step into Umbral Ocean, where your shadows evolve, echoing the shifts of the deep.

Ocean light facts:
– Almost all the infrared light is fully absorbed in the top 4 inches of water. This accounts for the majority of heat transferred from the sun.
– Water absorbs visible light through the vibrations of its molecules. Each curved H-O-H molecule has directions and shapes it likes to wiggle in. One combination of wiggle directions adds up to a wiggle of about 0.00007cm or 700nm, which happens to be a wavelength of red light, which is why red gets absorbed most readily.
– Deep sea creatures have a tendency toward being red and black. Red coloring doesn’t give them away to predators at these depths.

Primary Artist

Nigel Swehla


Patrick Burns


David Dowling