London photographer Martin Usborne has had this strange and specific idea in his head for a while. He finally kickstarted his photography project, The Silence of Dogs in Cars, realized from his fears of being alone and having no voice. See the shots that are now on their way to being published as a fine art book here.
Usborne shares that, when he was around four, he was left inside the car outside Tesco’s for 15 minutes. He wondered if anyone would come back and thought of the possibility of being alone forever. “Around the same age I began to feel a deep affinity with animals – in particular their plight at the hands of humans.”
He toyed with the idea of photographing dogs in cars for years and he recently got the ball rolling on the project. “I now realize the pictures come from fairly deep fears I’ve had of being alone and without a voice and also from my early fascination with animals, dogs in particular, who also seemed vulnerable and somehow mute.”
“The camera is the perfect tool for capturing a sense of silence and longing: the shutter freezes the subject for ever and two layers of glass are placed between the viewer and the viewed: the glass of the lens, the glass of the picture frame and, in this instance, the glass of the car window further isolates the animal. The dog is truly trapped.”
About his process, Usborne said he shoots on location and the dogs are placed in the car. “A lot of people think these are incidental images. This isn’t the case. Partly because its very hard to find dogs stuck in cars whilst you are carrying lights around and because these images are not meant to be documentary, but something more dreamlike and cinematic.”
“Some people find this project funny, and I have no problem with that,” the artist adds. But I hope it is also poignant and ultimately hopeful."
The 40-photograph series is now on its way to being printed as a fine-art book as a result of Usborne’s fundraising project. Limited edition prints were also sold and are now available for pre-order, along with the book, on his site.