Rule of Three


1000 Shadows

by Herbert Baglione
Street art

View an image of the artwork

In the hallways of an abandoned psychiatric hospital, a host of eerie, spectral creatures come out to play. Spindly limbs contort around corners and extend up peeling walls, exploring the crumbling labyrinth. The figures skulk and loom, souls that have been freed from the confines of the body, yet remain to float aimlessly through the corridors. The distorted illustrations, pools of black paint marking each surface, alert the visitor to the loss of human life. This psychologically charged space, once bustling, is now emptied of existence, a haunting reminder of the passage of time.

Words by Katherine Fieldgate

Untitled (Desolate Coast)

by Alice Hawkins
Fashion, photograph

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Far from a picturesque postcard, Alice Hawkins’ photograph depicts a gloomy coastal scene. Vegetation creeps across walls, lush greens replaced with a blotchy near-black. The cords strung between the streetlamps could well be festive fairy lights, but they remain dim and dead. A woman stands in the foreground, her slouch and crossed arms implying impatience. If she is waiting, though, it is not clear what for. She clings onto a plastic bag, its blue stripes parodying the branding of a British supermarket chain, mirrored by the design of her dress. The name of the fictional store, ‘Disco’, strikes an ironic pose; the stillness of this setting is far from a nightclub or dancehall.

Words by John Wadsworth


developed by Valve Corporation
Video game

View a still from the game

Chell wakes up in a glass-walled cell at the centre of the Aperture Science ‘Enrichment Center’. She is greeted by the voice of GLaDOS, an A.I. system with a sadistic streak and an insatiable urge to test. Armed only with a portal gun, Chell must dash through a series of puzzling chambers, creating new gateways and stretching the laws of physics as she goes. Concealed cubbyholes hint at the facility's sinister secrets; the scrawled graffiti lining the walls mourns the loss of a cherished companion. As Chell dodges flames, toxic waste, and laser-emitting robo-turrets, she is driven onwards only by the hope of escape and the promise of cake.

Words by John Wadsworth

More to discover

1000 Shadows: See more images of the project here, and visit Herbert Baglione's official website here.

Untitled (Desolate Coast): View other images from the same series of photographs via the following links: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8).

Portal: Watch the teaser trailer here.

Today's connection

The settings of all three artworks are markedly desolate. Alice Hawkins’ image was taken from the series Desolate Coast.

Question of the day

Which artworks connected to the word 'Desolate' would you recommend? Let us know on Facebook, Patreon, or Twitter.

The Peckham Multi-Storey Car Park, a massive brutalist construction built for a supermarket that never materialised, now home to Frank's Café and the Bold Tendencies arts programme. (→)

– Elizabeth Brown, Silent Frame's Deputy Editor (via Facebook →)

Poggiolo, an artwork by Matteo Massagrande. (→)

– John Wadsworth, Silent Frame's Editor-in-Chief (via Patreon →)

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