Creation Date



image preview


digital print


Dimensions: 20 x 16 inches

This image is part of a larger work entitled Illumination.

Artist Statement

This series called Illumination is a narrative on the differences in people’s beliefs, backgrounds, interests and opinions, and about the fact that that is perfectly acceptable. The box of light that each individual is holding is representative of this. Everyone is drawn to and influenced by so many things; how they were raised and what they are continuing to learn helps to shape those beliefs. However different opinions may be this does not mean allowance for lack of respect.

In these images, six different people stand alone holding an unlabeled, unmarked cardboard box with warm light emanating from it, which illuminates only their faces as they glance in towards whatever the box of light represents for them. This single light source inside the small box keeps what is inside subjective and helps the audience relate and draw from their own personal experiences. No one needs to necessarily know what the box holds for another, but they do need to allow one another the respect and opportunity to hold different values. Differences make us unique and don’t make one person right or wrong over another. Arguing over beliefs and interests doesn’t help to solve.

The contrast of the cool and warm lighting helps to emphasize the focus on each individual and that what the box contains is personal and untouchable from everything around them—they hold their own light. Their environments are quiet which is reflective of the peace and confidence that each feels within themselves—it places calm around the fact that differences are a good thing and only natural. Each environment is different to show individuality while still showing that there is commonality with each other. This same light source echoes that commonality— that everyone has their own beliefs.

Using the ambient low-key light at dusk I am able to create calm through cool tones. By using the single warm light source inside the box I am able to create a more intimate and reflective setting. The contrast of warm and cool lighting also depicts the contrast inside the meaning; the separation of someone’s values from what other’s values may be – this demonstrates self-reflection done by everyone.

Using Photography as my medium, Canon DSLR and tripod I am illustrating something that has been on my mind for the past few years. Everyone wants to feel heard, respected and that their opinions matter. With this series, I am aiming to help others see that there is nothing wrong with how different beliefs can be, and that there is nothing wrong with listening to and appreciating where another is coming from. Without first giving respect, it cannot be expected to be reciprocated.


© Jillise Marie Wade, 2016.

Exhibit Images

Series Title: Illumination