Making the Nightlight Diorama by Catherine Slye

One of the biggest challenges of the Nightlight series was making the diorama. I wanted to create an experience for viewers of this series that emphasized the voyeuristic aspects of this series - the act of peering through a peephole to see a hidden space. And the making of it! So much fun. Each piece was prototyped and sketched and made, then remade to get it exactly how I felt it should be.

I started in June and completed it in November. I took hundreds of time lapse photos while I was working on it, kept a notebook of my drawings, ideas and plans and talked to many people about electricity, wiring, dollhouses, model making and acrylic box construction.

It is a 1:12 scale model of image #6894, the first Nightlight photo when I knew I was on the right track, it’s also the only image that was made in my own home, it feels incredibly personal to me.

The series started in January and completed in October, I stayed at 40 places and took more than 1400 images, from which I selected the final series images, view the series here.