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Narratives With Isolation

November 05, 2014

Isolation can feel entrapping or freeing.

Narratives With Isolation uses visual metaphors and symbols to create in the viewer's perception and emotions an experience that includes isolation.  But isolation is not the whole story — hence narratives with isolation, not narratives about isolation.

Isolation per se is not good or bad.  We need more visual information to know how to feel about what the isolation means, and we need to know about our personal reactions to the isolation metaphors.  Examples:

  • Isolated benches or picnic tables can seem lonely, desolate and depressing unless you're there for privacy, meditation, or spending time with those you came with.
  • Vultures on a naked, dead tree provide fewer narrative choices for the viewer.
  • Paths can recall choices, transitions, and even transcendence.
  • Spiritual experiences and awakenings are associated with isolation.
Lone BenchLone BenchLone Bench is a scene from Point Lobos near Carmel, CA. It is very symbolism/metaphor rich with its lone bench, deep forest, diverging paths, hollow trunk, and subdued lighting. As edited, it could be an illustration of Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken; “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both.” Easy to imagine one sitting on its lone bench and having such thoughts. Example: You the viewer are standing on one path, looking at two paths diverging ahead. The one you select becomes one with the one you’re on, and the alternative gets left in the unknown of the one life we have to live.
“Life is choice” — Kurt Lightfoot
Lone Picnic Table 2Lone Picnic Table 2
Roost #3Roost #3 Roost 1Roost 1
End Of His PierEnd Of His Pier Pathway To BluffPathway To Bluff
Pathway Out 2Pathway Out 2 Abandoned RanchAbandoned Ranch

The color pallet – basically black and tones of browns – creates an isolation from our vibrant, colorful existence.  In some narratives it comes across as warm, friendly sepia tones with positive associations and emotions, maybe like a restored old photo.  In other narratives it comes across as desolate and apocalyptic, maybe like an eerie smoke filled sky from a massive wildfire threatening homes and lives.

Synonyms for isolation; solitude, seclusiveness, desolation, detachment, privacy.

This blog post discusses images from a gallery located here.