Carousel - Doug Johnson

"I feel sorry for the mouse. Everyone's gone, the lights are out, the fun is over and the mouse must feel sad and lonely."

This perceptive and helpful comment was one of many I received during a portfolio review of my new series "What the Night Mouse Saw." By noting a key element that's missing in the "Carousel" image below (i.e. children having fun) the publisher of "Don't Take Pictures" magazine Kat Kiernan highlighted one of photography's strengths -- what's not in an image is often as evident, important and interesting as what's there.

Real mice, of course, don't ride carousels or play with children or, as far as we know, notice what’s missing or feel sad or lonely. But artists have a long history of anthropomorphizing mice to express universal feelings and qualities such as fear, empathy, vanity, loneliness and wisdom (see "Aesop's Fables", written around 600 BCE).

The series "What the Night Mouse Saw" is a work in progress and "Carousel" is one of my favorites so far. I think the lights and shadows are visually interesting and the ground level position catches a glimpse of a mouse's nighttime world but, as Kat observed, the best bit is the emotional layer -- the sense of loss and loneliness from missing (and not being invited to) the daytime party.

p.s. I've created an Instagram account named "whatthenightmousesaw" so if you would like to track how the series is progressing, please "follow" along. ;-)


Carousel

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