Samantha Sutcliffe lives and works in Los Angeles, California where she produces and films movies, commercials and music videos. She received her B.A in Studio Art from City College CUNY. As a photographer she is interested in what people do at night time, what places look like in the dark and the culture of nightlife in isolated places. She continuously plans trips around the United States and Canada often revisiting the same people and places. In between trips she makes a small run of photo books. She has self-published three books, Selected Works 2012 – 2014, Mega Nites and Fever Dreams. Her book Selected Works 2012 – 2014 is part of the collection at the Phoenix Art Museum and was in three group shows including the Infocus Juried Exhibition of Self-Published Photo books curated by Larissa Leclair. In 2015 she launched an online publication called The Portland Internet Quarterly. As a producer and photographer she organized writers and photographers to make slow journalism stories about the Pacific Northwest.
Why do we need darkness?
Last Summer in Sandusky there was a shackled store front in an abandoned parking lot with a sign that said “Mega Nites”. The word “Mega” means very large. At first Mega Nites gives off the impression that something grandeur is going to happen. Sitting in this parking lot at night you would see a lady with no shoes on walk out of a building with a cigar in her mouth. There would be fast food chains, hotels and highways surrounding the store. Night time can be for both work and entertainment. Think about the relationship of the two – customers and cashiers, guests and performers – and how advertisement brings these two people together.
This fascination for darkness first began in 2013 at a Staten Island thrift store. There was a National Geographic magazine laying on a table titled “why do we need darkness?” The article was about light pollution and the lack of darkness in the cities of America. After doing research through an online organization called Dark Sky Initiative a trip was in order to visit the darkest places in America. Since then there has been a focus on what people do at night time, how places look in the dark and what kind of culture exists at night time in isolated places. Trips are planned one to two times a year often revisiting the same people and places across the United States and Canada. After each trip a small run of photo books are made.
To view more of Samantha’s work please visit her website.