Oliver Saunders

Fear of the dark is innate. 

Fear of the dark is innate. Our eyes fail to recognise a once familiar surrounding and our ears catastrophise every bump. Yet children always seek what is unknown. They want to know what happens in the world once the clock moves beyond their bedtime. My parents responded to this curiosity with tales of villains and monsters; strange beings with nothing but wicked intentions. These warnings kept me firmly rooted at home when night fell until I grew into the drinking age. 

The black landscape of night was illuminated with blinding strobes and neon takeaway signs. With each adventure into this underworld, we learn to navigate the people we were warned about, so that we may safely return home before morning… Unless we stay long enough to see the other side of the day. 

It was in this world that Liv was born. 

With music, make-up and outfits I began to light up the darkness that I was once taught to fear. 

These portraits were made whilst reflecting on the time I was followed home from a show. They were shot on the same street at the same time of night when it happened. 

The man asked if he could see what was beneath my corset then pursued me to my front door. Once I was safely inside I stared him out until he disappeared into the night. Immediately I thought about who else may encounter him this night, and then in future nights to come, who may not be a 6-foot man with a right hook. 

In taking these portraits I reclaimed the street as my territory, solidifying my confidence once more. 

For a moment I considered if I was performing the image of a prostitute in the images. But I swiftly remembered that a person’s clothing is not their consent, nor is the showing of their skin. 

Words: Oliver Saunders, Fine Art

Leave a Reply