Open Tuesday – Saturday, 10:30am – 4:30pm Free entry


She sees the shadows

14 July 2018 - 4 November 2018


  • Rodney Graham, 'Sunday Sun, 1937', 2012 Courtesy of the artist and David Roberts Collection.

  • Magali Reus, Parking (Legs At Eye Level), 2014. Courtesy the Artist and David Roberts Collection. Photo: Plastiques.

  • Karla Black, Traps Take Practice, 2011. Courtesy the Artist and David Roberts Collection.

  • Tatsuya Kimata Double, 2006. Courtesy the Artist and David Roberts Collection.

  • Lea Cetera, Railing Section, 2015. Courtesy the Artist and David Roberts Collection. Photo: Ernst Fischer

  • Jason Dodge, Ringing Through Chimneys, A bell attached to the brush of chimney sweep Jörg Häuseler during the spring chimney cleaning in a neighborhood in Berlin. Courtesy the Artist and David Roberts Collection.

  • Caroline Achaintre, Fazes, 2012. Courtesy the Artist and David Roberts Collection.

  • Theaster Gates, Piano Lesson with Sitter, 2013. Courtesy the Artist and David Roberts Collection.

We are pleased to present the first off-site collaboration by DRAF (David Roberts Art Foundation), with works by:

Caroline Achaintre, Horst Ademeit, Fiona Banner, Sara Barker, Phyllida Barlow, Neil Beloufa, David Birkin, Karla Black, Carol Bove, Martin Boyce, Boyle Family, Lea Cetera, Susan Collis, Thomas Demand, Jason Dodge, Theaster Gates, Isa Genzken, Rodney Graham, Harry Gruyaert, Jeppe Hein, Marine Hugonnier, Pierre Huyghe, Matthew Day Jackson, Tatsuya Kimata, Rachel Kneebone, Elad Lassry, Bob Law, Nina Beier & Marie Lund, Kris Martin, Marlie Mul, Nika Neelova, Man Ray, Magali Reus, Pietro Roccasalva, Analia Saban, Erin Shirreff, Monika Sosnowska, Oscar Tuazon, Gavin Turk, Franz West, Douglas White.

“She sees the shadows… she even counts the tree-trunks along a promenade by the shadows, but sees nothing of the shape of things.”*

In 1886, a 22-year-old woman in Lyon saw the world around her for the first time. Objects instantly recognisable by touch were hard to distinguish with her new sight, and shadows appeared more concrete than solid forms. Her doctors described the sudden strangeness of familiar environments, and her singular experience of the world as a newly sighted person.
In his 1932 book Space and Sight, Marius Von Senden collated the patient’s experiences alongside testimonies of similar cases dating from 1020 to the present. These captivating accounts, which later inspired writers including Maggie Nelson and Annie Dillard, express how something familiar can show a previously unacknowledged beauty when seen in a new way.
She sees the shadows is a group exhibition of works from the David Roberts Collection that resonate with the ideas found in Space and Sight. Each artist has re-conceived day-to-day objects and materials in unexpected ways – a bench, plug socket, grate, section of railing or broom – inviting viewers to see alternative qualities and narratives therein.
Each of the works in a collection, like the testimonies compiled by Von Senden, speak of personal experiences and moments.  She sees the shadows is accompanied by a new publication with responses to the project from writers Orit Gat, Claire Potter and Sally O’Reilly, and artists David Birkin, Jason Dodge, Marine Hugonnier, Marlie Mul, Magali Reus and Douglas White.
•M. Von Senden (trans. P. Heath), Space and Sight: the perception of space and shape in the congenitally blind before and after operation, 1932, Methuen & Co. Ltd.: London, 1960.
She sees the shadows is a collaboration between DRAF and MOSTYN, curated by Olivia Leahy (DRAF) and Adam Carr (Visual Arts Programme Curator, MOSTYN).
Visit our You Tube Channel for short intros to the exhibition by curators, Olivia Leahy (DRAF) and Adam Carr (MOSTYN).

Started in the mid 1990s, the David Roberts Collection currently comprises over 2,000 works. It focuses on contemporary art but also includes some modern works. It is not focused on a specific medium, generation or geographical area. The Collection is an evolving archive of forms and concepts. Works from the Collection are regularly exhibited by DRAF (David Roberts Art Foundation) and internationally within exhibitions at other institutions.

DRAF (David Roberts Art Foundation) is an independent, non-profit organisation for contemporary art. Since it was founded in 2007, DRAF has welcomed over 100,000 visitors to international programmes including exhibitions, commissions, performances and discussions. To date, DRAF has partnered with over 100 museums, institutions, and not for profit organisations and collaborated with over 1,000 artists. In Autumn 2017, DRAF celebrated its 10th anniversary with exciting plans to significantly expand the programme beyond its London base.  DRAF launched an ambitious UK-wide programme in 2018. The David Roberts Art Foundation Limited is a registered charity in England and Wales (No.1119738). It is proudly supported by the Edinburgh House Estates group of companies.

Keep updated

Be the first to hear about exhibitions, events & activities

Sign-up to newsletter