The balance of light
As the earth tilts to align the sun directly above the equator, daylight and darkness fall into a precise equilibrium. It is tempting to envision light and darkness as opposing forces in an epic, ancient struggle between good and evil, but in reality, there is no competition between the two; only light truly exists. There is either “light” or “no light”. Light is defined by its source, by its radiance and glow. Darkness, on the other hand, is not a thing; it is nothing, simply defined as the absence of light. You cannot shine darkness on anything; you can only obscure light.
Both light and its absence are essential. Without the contrast of darkness, there would be no definition of pattern or design that would be discernible. Defined equally by sea and land, art and commerce, illumination and shadow, the miracle of Venice lies in its ability to hold opposites with grace, in a delicate and perfect balance. Fitting that the Canal Grande, winding its backwards “S” through the city, divides the city into a geographical yin-yang. Geometry and proportion bring further harmony to the visual backdrop of the city, the architecture guiding light into the dim spaces of palazzos and buildings, calles and canals. As a painter and photographer, Mariano Fortuny had an innate understanding of this. Our fabrics, infused with metallic pigments, collaborate uniquely with luminescence, allowing light to play a large part in the role of the artist. It reflects both subtly and dramatically, much as it does with the water and glass that help compose the city, creating a magical atmosphere, unparalleled, and uniquely Venetian.
Contrast is necessary, and no day serves as a better reminder of this than the equinox, where both light and its absence achieve a perfect balance. Light only competes against itself, with its will to exist. And so, we continue to seek the light, to find and nourish it. We choose not to direct our energies towards darkness, but towards the brilliance and power of light.