Security Lights, Ten Photographs by Susan McCaslin

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Security Lights

Ten Photographs by Susan McCaslin

What began as a study of high-intensity

the back seat, staring at whatever was in my

security lights became a study of the shadows

line of vision – street lamps, neon signs and

they create, revealing a long-held childhood

reflections on the car windows and mirrors.

fear of the dark and the likelihood of

The restaurants were in unpopulated areas

confrontation. That fear has been diminished

and the lights of their signs and the lights

through these photographs. I have captured

in their parking lots were much eerier than

it’s figurative language with my camera and

in town. I can still feel the shock of being

reduced it to bits of ink on paper.

awakened by boisterous patrons exiting the

As the last child still living at home in rural

restaurant. I would instinctively slide myself

Pennsylvania, my parents would often take me out to dinner on school nights. And as the

into the shadows on the cold vinyl seat so that they could not see me as they walked to their

evenings grew long and I grew tired, I would


lock myself in our family car, hoping to sleep

When I look at these photographs I see that

as they continued on with their evening. I

child who was alone and fearful in a cold,

remember the odd angles of the roofs and

dark car but I also see the adult who is strong

upper stories of the buildings and the parking

and brave enough to go out by herself in the

lots outside the restaurants we frequented

middle of the night, to lurk in dark shadows

– perspectives and fears distorted as I lay

and get past her fears for the sake of art.

under my mother’s coat, stretched out on

Š2016 Susan McCaslin Published to accompany an exhibition at the Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut (CAWCT) Originally conceived for GLSP Arts 626: Landscape Photography, Cultural Geography Professor Marion Belanger, Wesleyan University, 2012

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