A Secret Place

Backstairs

Backstairs

This is one of several shots I took of some residences of a downtown alley in Hamilton. The first time I photographed it was in 2005. While I liked those first images, I didn’t think they really captured the moment or nuances of the place. Being there gave me a feeling of extreme privacy, and I imagined it to be a place where profound secrets are told. It’s really not pretty but it’s the kind of spot where one could almost convince themselves that no one else knows about it.

I fantasized that as I approached the area, the people or creatures meeting there to make an exchange heard or saw me coming, and quickly faded into dark, imperceptible hiding places. They watched me from there. They watched me looking about and making pictures, and waited for me to leave so that they could come back out and continue their clandestine businesses.

Years later, I returned to this alley of the Beasley neighbourhood and made images that better captured the feel of the place.

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7 thoughts on “A Secret Place

  1. The back streets of Hamilton were part of my daily walks in hamilton when young..This type of activity stayed with me..and I found travelling in the mid east took me to the back streets of places like tunsia..morrocco..with the life and activities of the local people being their..with exposure to their schools..souqs…homes… narrow passageways..not always safe but an adventure..nonetheless it all started from hamilton..

  2. Definitely evokes a slightly claustrophobic feeling, and at the same time, a slight feeling of hope. Hope because you can see the light at the top and the stairs are escape routes … but, are you fast enough? 😉

    Nice capture and excellent narrative to go with it.

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