Portraits at 70mph
“Here in my car I feel safest of all, I can lock all my doors, It’s the only way to live, In cars.” Gary Numan, 1979.
The space inside our cars becomes another world once we enter it. A world where we are happy to do many things we wouldn’t in public because we feel safe and enclosed. We seem to forget that the world can actually see us. Although we can’t really hear it and we seem to pass it by quickly, we are in a glass bubble. But this bubble is a protection and it’s ours. We sing out loud, shout and swear, kiss, have sex, eat, and even sleep here.
Our perception of our surroundings changes dramatically, and our perception of speed alters too. Joining the motorway and coasting along at 70mph for some time we enter an almost trancelike place, oblivious to the fact we are hurtling along (quite dangerously) in a small metal box.
These photos are taken from a standstill. They peer into the worlds of cars passing at 70mph. These fractions of a second images create an unusual juxtaposition between the still world of the viewer and the flash of the passing car. The resulting photographs give us an extended view of the world inside, we can take our time to look around to see what’s happening there; to see the interplay between the occupants, their emotions, actions and the objects inside. The image starts to become a weird portrait which includes the car itself and our preconceived associations of who drives what type of car. Some occupants see the camera, some don’t, but this interplay only serves to strengthen the concept of the bubble world, with the occupant looking out at us. Maybe their world is threatened or maybe they are curious, looking out as if they are on safari.
These photos are obviously altered creating the concept that the final images are of small worlds travelling through outer space. However the space dust is carefully created only from the grain of the tarmac on the roads.
Portraits at 70mph, 2013. Inkjet print. 40x50cm.