Glorious Stop-Motion Photography Shows the Emotional Life of Light

The title of Lucea Spinelli‘s stop-motion light photography collection, Phōtosgraphé, is a phonetic mashup of the Greek roots of “photography”; her work separates the word’s meaning and reifies it to gorgeous effect. Starting with the word that breaks down to “light” and “representation through drawing,” Spinelli extends the photographic act over a vast series of shots to show how light, when displayed in motion, can seem both solidly embodied and alive. In each of these works, she attempts to elucidate, as she says in her artist’s statement, “realms beyond our perception, such as dreams, energy and the spirit.” The more you focus on them,  the more her compositions seem to turn light into characters with personalities and emotional spectrums — sometimes they appear mischievous, sometimes violent, sometimes ecstatic.

Of her process, Spinelli tells Flavorwire:

It resembles performance art, and often involves me moving around in the dark and waiting patiently while each frame renders. Because light essentially acts as a paintbrush on an open shutter, I have a pretty good idea of what each movement looks like on film before I look at the result.This takes a lot of focus and patience in usually very dark abandoned spaces, which often induces a necessary trancelike state.

Scroll through our gallery for more of her work, and be sure to check out Spinelli’s other projects — comprising both stop-motion and still photography — on her website and Tumblr.