Nightwalking – Impressions

I often think, during my desk bound days, of how I’d love to be out there just walking around endlessly, swinging arms, joyous feet and all that. The closest I get to this usually, is heading out to get lunch. Otherwise i spend most of the day ergonimized in an office chair. Not quite Han Solo frozen in carbonite, but some days, I swear it’s not too far away.

The truth is though, even when I did have nothing better to do than roam the sidewalks endlessly day after day, I never did. Always, I would wait for the light to fall off before setting out. The shadows conceal from curious eyes. People around here don’t seem to walk for no purpose much. If you’re not clad in an activity specific outfit, being towed by a pet, or clearly marked as walking towards something, then you are a bit of an oddity. Because you could be driving, fer godssakes. What’s wrong with you?

It’s not only self consciousness that sends me to the shadows though. It’s also the cessation of activity when most have returned to the roost. It’s about having the lull in that urban buzz, to appreciate things singularly, without being distracted by the visual and auditory cacophany that is an inescapable part of city life during the the day. I don’t filter sensory input very well; I either experience it all, often in a state of intense distraction, or have to block it completely and proceed inside my own little world. I seem largely unable to let some in and discard the rest, although I’m good at pretending when i have to. It’s also the reason I avoid large human gatherings if at all possible, but that’s a story for another day.

Walking in the night has always been a way to meander in peace. In the day time I often feel hemmed in by the built-up-ness of the city. These distinct boundaries of space – footpath, front lawn, council verge, private yard, car park, storefront, etc – blur when blinding sun is removed, and spaces turn a little wilder in the shadow. It’s a different world without the staccato drive of sun. You move to a different beat, and discover strange things in the failing light.

We’re just easing off these long summer days in this part of the world, and twilight is coming around earlier, when it feels safe to pad around in the semi-dark on my own. These images were stirred from an idea of Radek Kozak‘s, who found a new inspiration to his image making in the the indistinct, unfocused shape of the world around him. I added some movement in the making, and too, found alien things hiding in suburbia.

















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  1. These are amazing Charlene, as well your writing ! aaand you used few of my favorite words : cacophony and staccato :)

    i love the delicacy of colors in 04

    05 looks like little western town with saloon on the right

    06 is just plain awesome !

    and with 09 you got me thinking it doesn’t neccessary need to be nature – the shape of the digger or whatever this is, is crazy but beautiful

    my favorite though is 16 – i’m just staring at it right now and it pulls me in !!

    1. Some of them turned out quite different to my expectations I have to say, 16 being one of them. Quite like that digger one myself. Not your run of the mill 4 door in the family driveway, I gotta say.

      Thanks Radek :) Don’t know what you’ve started me on yet, but it’s definitely something!

  2. Spectacularly lyrical images, Charlene. There is a sense of the meditative in your compositions and in the slightly otherworldly out of focus + motion blur. You should consider putting together a body of work like this for FFF2012.

    1. Seng, that’s an absolutely shocking idea! I have to admit I’m encouraged to entertain it though my heart skips a beat at the idea. You’re on the FFF committee aren’t you? When are the calls for exhibitors going out?

      1. Not on FF this time round. Taking a break. The Fringe has yet to kick off — but keep an eye/ear out. I think your photos would be great somewhere urban and central Perth or an arty location like Highgate/Mt Lawley – keep an eye out for an arty store or cafe.

  3. These are great! Really beautiful. You do wonderful stuff in the night-time. Surely some of these are going on canvas??

    1. Canvas? Haha, nah. Not unless you want some? ;) The walls in my house are reserved for tug boats. And the odd unlandscape landscape.

    1. Too fun to articulate. Now, in keeping with learning to craft visual essays, must take this discovery and build it into a narrative of some sort.

  4. I love the way you see–especially at night. It’s the kind of stuff that keeps me up (it’s past midnight here ;)

  5. These shots are pretty really pretty. Not photographer so no ‘technical’ praise.
    Eh if I show these shots to some people here sure they will ask “your sis take pic of ‘hooooooo’ ah hahaha

    1. Spoken like the true business manager! Haha!

      Eh not everyone’s so bad la… some might go “ee eh colour swee ah”

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