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Tram Portraits

Artworks by Annie Hallowell 

With these illustrations, I wanted to focus on these fleeting connections with people, the notion of being totally alone while surrounded by so many others, a strange sort of disconnected intimacy. To capture the feeling of sonder I had been experiencing, and the realisation that each individual is living a life as vivid and complex as my own. The physical intimacy of the shared public space in such immediate proximity to others, along with a complete lack of acknowledgement of anyone around yourself. It is an end to a means, ‘the destination is the destination’, ‘every man is an island’. When people inhabit that kind of space, they do everything within their means to avoid their present realities. I always sleep on public transport. The consistent temperature, steady hum and gentle rocking always make me drowsy. Some people like to maximise the utility of their time, they read the news, they listen to podcasts, they make me nervous as they apply their makeup in a moving vehicle, some even play loud, aggressive Australian hip-hop without headphones from the back of a train carriage. I chose to express my subjects as slightly disembodied, without focusing on their faces, or their identity which remains a mystery. Almost counterintuitively, through this process, I was able to focus on the details of the individual.




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