Waves and Shadows

October 2020

Under a canopy of trees, a mysterious figure in a paint-splattered robe stands
Video still

Project Description

Waves and Shadows is a collaborative performance installation that explores the boundaries of form and presentation. Taleen Batalian’s collection of sculptural garments merge with performance, music, dance and environment.

Batalian and her collaborators explore the ephemeral and fleeting qualities of waves and shadows as guiding themes of the project. Batalian’s sculptural garments serve as the starting point for this work. Fabrication of the garments employs techniques such as creating handmade dyes to color and age the fabrics, assembling and disassembling pieces over and over to create a history to the materials, creating a two-dimensional wall piece, then manipulating the textile, perhaps painting, adding seams or embroidery, then later removing and draping the wall piece into a three dimensional sculpture on a form. Each of the collaborators responded to the sculptural garments and to each other’s work via solitary process and through periodic group check-ins.

The tone and tempo of this project was conceived, first, as a live performance to be offered in May of 2020. This was postponed due to the pandemic. Later in the year, it was reimagined as a film. Ultimately, the work, in both of its forms, explores ways in which the garments — in combination with movement, music and environment — can “transport” an audience for a period of time.


  • Taleen Batalian: Creative Director and Sculptural Garments
  • Antonio Forte: Original Score and Sound Design
  • Heidi Henderson: Dancer and Choreographer
  • Keri King: Scenic design and Project Consultant
  • Amanda Kowalski: Director of Photography and Video Production



Listen to Taleen talk about the project. After postponement was necessary due to the pandemic, the project was reimagined as a Video installation.

Funding provided in part by a grant from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, through an appropriation by the Rhode Island General Assembly, a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and private funders.

This project is also made possible in part by the generous support of Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County.