Original Digital Photograph and Vintage Ephemera Collage
©2012 Michael Sprouse | All Rights Reserved
During a recent visit to Philadelphia, I had the opportunity to catch an early Sunday morning train in order to celebrate the birthday of a close friend that resides in Merion Station.
While I was waiting for the train to arrive at Philadelphia’s Suburban Station, I managed to visually document a rather unusually quiet and somewhat eerie empty train depot with my camera.
I kept returning to one image from the series in particular in which a long empty hallway culminates into a colorless void.
In addition to an obvious sense of the mysterious that is created by the 1930’s era ceiling light fixtures and the stolid ionic columns that rhythmically line the path, their purposeful placement reflects a symbolic meaning as the potential milestones encountered in life’s journey.
And finally - the “great white light” at the end of the path in the photograph creates an unmistakable kinship to what is commonly referred to as a “near death experience”.
All of these enticing elements coming together were just too much for the figurative and narrative art lover in my psyche to resist. All at once, I knew that the work would be complete with the addition of a figure to the scene.
And via the joy of Photoshop, thus entered the enigmatic young woman from a vintage WWI era photograph. The longing expression in her eyes in combination to the paper flower bouquet that she so gently held in her hands was the perfect addition.
She waits for someone to arrive, but for whom she waits and for how long has lasted and may continue to last is unknown - perhaps a moment – perhaps for eternity.
Her figure softly fades into the scene as once again, the focus of her vigil neglects to materialize and the essence of her quest is relinquished to the shadows once again until the arrival of the next train is announced.