October is my favourite time of the year not only for the changing colours of autumn leaves and cooler temperatures but also for the seasonal festivities surrounding Halloween and Samhain. Throw in a lifelong love of horror films and you know where this is heading!
Following in the silent, malevolent footsteps of the Woodwitch photo series, “Emily of the Dead” was shot on location at the railway tracks bordering Confederation Park in Vancouver, adjacent to the local Chevron refinery. Knowing how detrimental petroleum products are to the natural environment, in my opinion there are few things more ominous than a convoy of oil tankers thundering down Willingdon Avenue after dark, transporting dangerous and destructive cargo like a virus coursing through the veins of our civilization.
From that standpoint it’s not difficult to make the mental leap to thoughts of the zombie phenomenon in popular culture: since George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead we have been fascinated by these creatures and in their various guises we continue to see dark, ruined reflections of ourselves that hint at the impending disastrous effects of climate change caused by global industrialization.
That’s a heavy load on any zombie’s shoulders, but Emily held up like a champ. Inspired by some railway imagery in a previous season of The Walking Dead TV series, I wanted to revisit Romero’s original zombie aesthetic while hinting at the aforementioned postindustrial fallout.
I’m still booking Halloween-themed portrait shoots throughout the month of October (and beyond – Halloween is every day, as far as I’m concerned), so do get in touch if you’re interested to monster up!
UPDATE: I’ve added a few select images from this series to the Factotum shop on RedBubble here.