(Above: Towards Inverness, photo by the author)

One of my favourite artists is the American Edward Hopper. His ‘Nighthawks’ is a study in late-night loneliness, set in a bar/diner whose light is a stark and emotional contrast to the isolating darkness outside.

(Above: Edward Hopper’s ‘Nighthawks’)

He also painted isolated and often abandoned scenes, such as outdated petrol (gas) stations; again with a very ‘still’ emotional fascination.

The figures within the bar still have barriers: the space between them. But the hopeful fragility of that is there to be overpowered by the need to, collectively, respond to the dark with… friendship.

That’s my take on it, anyway!

Hopper and his wife were both artists, but they didn’t start off that way. Inspired by her, he took it up and eventually outshone the lady, who never painted again.

(Above: the solitary oncoming car; a kind of companionship…but only for a second. Image by the author)
(Above: ‘Gas’ by Edward Hopper, 1940)

Last year, in the passenger seat on a night drive in Scotland, I noticed that one of the shots I had taken through the windscreen reminded me of Hopper’s work – which is not to say I am comparing our results.

(Above: the winding road, with its backdrop of dark mountains, can be a lonely place. Image by the author)

Since then, I’ve been trying to recapture the look…

We have just finished a long drive to the Scottish Highlands for a short break to get Tess away from the infernal Bonfire Night firework bangs. I took the first leg from Kendal; Bernie drove from Perth, allowing me time to try out my experiment on the darkest part of the journey as we approached Inverness on the long and winding A9.

(Above: Two cars- a completely different ‘feel’. Image by the author)
(Above: First sight of Inverness in the distance; journey’s end… Image by the author)

©Stephen Tanham 2022

Stephen Tanham is a Director of the Silent Eye, a journey through the forest of personality to the dawn of Being.

http://www.thesilenteye.co.uk and http://www.suningemini.blog

6 Comments on “Homage to Hopper by roadlight

  1. I always find road photographs fascinating and emotive. Very moody, Steve. I share your love of Hopper. I find his images arresting – a sense of isolation and a stillness about them.

    Liked by 1 person

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