Building on my previous spatial portrait, I took the one image that seemed to be the strongest (pictured) and Emily Duncan’s audio snapshot and built a narrative based on the sense of claustrophobia and paranoia that fills a woman walking at night by herself. Sources say that 1 in 3 Australian women between the ages of 15 and 19 years old don’t feel safe in public spaces at night. This is a small improvement on a study conducted in March 2015 that found 40 per cent of women “do not feel safe when walking alone at night in the area where they currently live, compared to 17 per cent of men”.
The combination of darkly lit surroundings, female figure illuminated by sporadic street lights, the passing flash of head lights and the torch on her smart phone are my attempt at showing looming threat of darkness and what could be lurking within. I used camera angles associated with first person hand-cam filming techniques found in immersive horror films and low budget YouTube videos such as the Slenderman in Real Life video shown below. There is a real element of suspense and horror and I tried to play on that with different types of cutting and transition between images.
All the images were shot in Fairy Lane and Cabbage Tree Lane in Fairy Meadow. As scary as this place may be, this terrifying feeling can happen to women anywhere. That needs to change.
As the intensity in Emily’s audio builds, the sense of the figure’s panic rises and her hurried motion is shown in the blurriness of the figure as she tries to elude me. I have walked home late at night many times and one thing is always going through my head: keep walking.
can be a dangerous thing to do…
Emily Duncan’s audio snapshot immediately unsettled me. Foreboding sat in my chest and formed a lump in my throat as I remembered walking through Fairy Meadow at night with nothing but a phone to illuminate my way. I wanted to create a series of images set in the walkway along the west side of Memorial Drive between Elliotts Road and Towradgi Road. Even during the day, it can be an aggressive landscape to behold with broken fences coated in graffiti and weeds poking through chainlink. Ed Rusha’s work was a big influence on my use of lighting and exposure in the night shots as well as his off-centre framing. At night, the darkness closes in and threatens to swallow you. I tried to convey the experience of this walk, of how the space affects you as you move through it.
with Kae and Lauren