Martin Usborne: The Silence Of Dogs In Cars at The Little Black Gallery
The grey daylight can hardly strain its way through the tall glass frontage into the warm, dark and quiet space of The Little Black Gallery. The flecks of rain gather and trickle down as you look out at the world outside.
Martin Usborne focuses on this sense of separateness in his photography series The Silence Of Dogs In Cars. A mixture of high contrast tones and velvet soft focus creates a dreamy ambience in these images depicting dogs left alone in cars. This downy softness successfully echoes the peace that the show’s title suggests. The dogs are disconnected, almost angelic within the boundary of the cars’ protective shells.
Fluff removed, these images are actually a powerful depiction of how it feels to be abandoned – if only momentarily – while everything around moves on without you. Usborne has previously embellished on this, recalling how being left alone in the car as a child caused a profound emotion, which inspired this series later in his life. But it is a sensation not limited to childhood. The Silence Of Dogs In Cars powerfully reflects the cold and muted moments of general modern existence: our dislocation from what is around us and what can feel like an eternity of unbreakable silence in our moments of isolation. Each dog represents a personality imprisoned in a box. Prospero peering through rain droplets and Winnie gazing into the sunset are you or me, looking out onto a world that has no patience or time as it rages along, disappearing like headlights into the distance while we sit naïvely in a designated space.
This is a beautiful sequence that distinctly touches on the subconscious without having to do much at all. Usborne has achieved wonders with his lens and a brilliant choice and understanding of his subject. His renown is thus clear. The Silence Of Dogs In Cars is a collection to take time with and from which everyone will gain reflection and enchantment.
Photos: Arnaud Stephenson
Martin Usborne: The Silence Of Dogs In Cars is at The Little Black Gallery until 27th April 2013. For further information visit the gallery’s website here.