Millie Wilson’s light box photos are a series of haunting and humorous works that poke at stereotypes, gendered situations, and the mundanity of everyday life. The Escalette Collection of Art has two works of Wilson’s on display in Smith Hall: Untitled (boys in desert) from her 2013 exhibition Some People, and an earlier 2011 work, Untitled (dog and bone). Using found photos, she creates small scenes, with light pouring from behind her subjects and into the outer world.
These light box images are haunting renditions of other people’s memories, making the viewer an intruder on past lives. The ambiguity of the photos, their origins, and their subjects allows the memories to belong to any viewer. I feel a certain sense of nostalgia when I look at these works as they loom over Smith Hall’s stairway, floating in their little boxes, the metal blending in with the wall behind it. The dog dances in someone’s living room in front of a 70s era television set. The boys stare out from a backdrop of blue skies and red sands, coming to life in the eyes of the students who pass by them every day.