A DYING LIGHT
Following the death of his mother in 2015, Jon Sen’s work began to focus on the companion themes of loss and absence.
The struggle between light and darkness – symbolic of life and death – is prevalent throughout all forms of artistic and cultural expression. None more so than in the work of Virginia Woolf who, on the brink of suicide, wrote of the light draining from her world, compounding her feelings of bleakness and futility.
Exactly 75 years to the day that Virginia Woolf walked from her studio towards the River Ouse to take her own life, the artist photographed the same route, capturing a sense of what it is to make a choice between life and death, the light and the dark. These expressionist images, mirroring Woolf’s own preference for ‘symbolism and relations of masses, light and shadows’ reflect the emotional complexity of that journey.
Beginning with the view from her writing studio, the journey continues through the Sussex countryside and ends at the river itself where Woolf entered the water.
A Dying Light was first exhibited in 2016, installed in the dark, with a soundscape of a river, forcing the viewer to search out the images with torchlight, the experience is intentionally immersive with the claustrophobia of the rooms heightening a sense of what it feels like to be lost to depression – a world of light and life being swallowed whole in a sea of darkness.