By Doug Rickard, ASX, April 2010
As the summer night falls and the crickets chirp, the sky slightly aglow from the street lamps, the stillness comes. And the stillness of the summer dark lays over the land like a warm blanket surrounding a child and it becomes a paradox. The blanket gives the impression of security as you button up inside your little American house, yet the feeling of the falling darkness brings tension and pulls at the blanket, near the edges, reminding you of the things that make children hide under the covers at night.
This feeling of delicacy and menace, warm air and wonder and the distant sound coming of far off imaginary thunder. The night breeze flows through your hair as darkness comes toward you. You put away the toys on the lawn and lock up all of the doors. These are feelings that are buried deep inside all of us, the child in us. In our heads are vaults of long ago memories and the “magic” of the child. But now as a grown up, the magic is mixed with the dominating awareness of the “lion” and the invading anxieties of the world now seen through eyes of the adult.
Robert Adams refers to a William Blake prayer that deftly describes this paradox…
“The splendor of the Creation but also the reality of the Wolf and the Lion.”
Yes, the beauty is undeniable and the danger in the shadows and the anxiety of the dark, also undeniable. Our world is precious, filled with awe and so much wonder yet menace abounds, and in the night time there sometimes comes murder and thunder…
Human existence in shadows and light, our joy and our fear, underneath at the core.
A square little gem.
Summer Nights, Walking.
Photographs by Robert Adams.
Aperture/Yale University Art Galler, New York, 2009. 84 pp., 70 tritone illustrations, 8¾x8½”.
ASX CHANNEL: ROBERT ADAMS
All images © copyright the photographer and/or publisher