Kay Kenny

Artist Statement

Artist Statement
Into the Night in the Middle of Nowhere is celebration of the rural night landscape. It is a poetic tribute to wild imaginings: the nightmares and dreams inherent in the lonely darkened corners of the world. In a series of long exposures that capture the intense activity of the night sky through the passage of time, the silhouettes of the darkened landscape are the backdrops for the illuminated otherworldly events taking place below.

For more than a dozen years I have been shooting in the dark: long exposures using film to record a world I can only imagine. Film records light long after the human eye fails to see it. The images appear, glowing with colors and moving across time and space against a landscape of shadows and innuendos.

Using flashlights, car headlights and improvising with other light-providing devices, I photograph the rural landscape where no ambient light but the stars and the moon intrudes upon the night. The star and moon trails streak across the sky and reveal the passage of time in the earth’s rotation. Time itself becomes compressed in long exposure night photography. In the 30 minutes to an hour that the shutter remains open to record the sky, I move about creating my own bright moments on the earth below.

The darkness that surrounds these bright moments creates a strangely eerie sense of intimacy: a midsummer’s dream rendered ominous as images slip into the shadows.

I begin with a memory of images gleaned from dreams, horror movies, childhood stories, and observations of how light plays across the darkness, creating its own narration in our minds. I use familiar objects, ordinary landscapes and often myself in these nocturnal settings.

The images are always a revelation to me. When I am successful, it is as if by magic for it is extremely difficult to predict the various effects of weather, temperature, dew point, and the use of hand controlled lighting equipment on the image itself. My subject is elusive: a moment’s shift in the dew point or flashlight and my image is lost to the camera. The risk factor is part of my attraction to creating these images.

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