Separation Anxiety – Sam Rupsa

Sam Rupsa’s image collection, titled “Separation Anxiety” is aptly named – the photos immediately bring fourth a discernible feeling of uneasiness. The scenes appear to be void of any human presence, and the focus on small areas of light among the darkness of nighttime elicits a deep feeling of loneliness.

Garage at Night

Upon viewing the photos, we wonder if the photographer is alone, or if some mysterious stranger is lurking nearby. Rupsa has a knack for capturing these seemingly ordinary locales with an air of mystery.

Mike’s Liquor & Wine

A fascination with light (or lack thereof) is present in much of Rupsa’s other work, but he explains there is something a bit different about this particular series. “Over the summer, I had been working with the concept of the absence of light, especially in the nighttime,” Rupsa explains, “The idea of gloom spoke to me”.

Lit Windows

Gloomy is certainly one way to describe the series. However, the photos don’t portray a hopeless, meaningless kind of gloom. On the contrary, the gloom is incredibly intriguing, and draws us in for a closer look.

Shell Station

“The photos I took are intended to capture the feeling of solitude,” Rupsa elaborates, “They’re meant to cause the viewer to feel a certain way, such as melancholy”.

Glowing reflection

Perhaps one of the most impressive compositions of the series, it’s hard to look for more than a moment at the photo above without imagining a figure emerging from the glowing light of the doorway. Although the photos may evoke melancholy for some, we would classify the feeling even more so as a dark curiosity, similar to the quiet moments that lead up to a violent climax of a slasher film.

Illuminated Doorway

Who could be lying in wait behind the illuminated doorway? It’s a secret that the photo will keep to itself.

For more of Rupsa’s work, be sure to follow him on Instagram.


Kira is an avid enthusiast of photography, poetry and the arts in general. She holds a degree in Communications and English Literature at the University of Ottawa.

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