The beautiful contrast of light

Work by Annette koehnen

The beautiful contrast of light

Darkness only exists because there is light. Try and cast a shadow without it. You can only seek the comfort of light from the darkness and only be afraid of the dark because there is light to reassure you. We navigate the world around us through observing and experiencing contrasts. With the in-between thing called shade providing us with nuance. In the winter you might cross to the sunny side of the street and in the heat of the summer seek shade.

Why is it that all things new catch our eye and we need to steal a second glance to double-check the novelty? We appear to possess a trigger that attracts us to things we see for the first time and blinds us for all the rest that actually keep us in balance. A trigger that promises us happiness, as a gift does in the moments before its unwrapped. And perhaps that is where the essence of what is really taking place here resides. In our imagination.



Our imagination is our most powerful motivator. It can be our greatest asset, but it also is often just as much an Achilles heel. Even if you do not consider yourself creative, your mind has ideas of its own. A vivid imagination is not necessarily one filled with images or solutions. You can only be afraid of the dark if your thoughts run away with you. You can only be filled with anticipation in the seconds before you tear away the wrapping paper, if you have created an emotional response to receiving a gift in your mind.  Even if every gift you have ever received was a disappointment, it is difficult, if not impossible, to not be triggered into sending up a flare of hopeful anticipation.


You can make your imagination work for you; it doesn’t need to be a wandering zombie. Look at what you already have around you and draw it out of the shadows and into the light. Into a different light, and imagine you are seeing it once again for the first time. Different light? Isn’t all light the same? Well, your intellect might know that, but there is no need to go ruining things with cold hard facts. The contradictions we perceive always come from within us and it is through experiencing contrasts that we navigate our world. 

Cabinets of Curiosity

We are curious makers of things, things we dream up ourselves. Remarkable, useful, beautiful and original things. Sometimes they are made entirely by hand, sometimes partly by machine, in the future perhaps by robots. May be not robots. Always with an eye for detail and with an element of fun.

If you care to follow this blog and join our journey, we’ll share our successes and (occasional) failures with you and hopefully you’ll become a frequent visitor. Suppose that depends on us keeping you entertained. So let’s get on with the words and pictures.

Work in progress


© Gerard Scanlan and Cabinetsof, 2015 -2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Gerard Scanlan and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.