Eloise Rose's work plays with the ambiguity and uncertainty arising from the dark, the umbratic and the not-quite-there, luring observers in with a glimpse of the indeterminate caught in their peripheral gaze.
Inspired by Conrad Aiken's 1934 short story, Silent Snow, Secret Snow (often included in anthologies of American horror), Rose's Silent Snow investigates a descent into mental illness. The blankness and purity of snow becomes a metaphor for purging the mind of all externality.
'Just why it should have happened, or why it should have happened just when it did, he could not, of course, possibly have said; nor perhaps could it even have occurred to him to ask. The thing was above all a secret, something to be preciously concealed…; and to that very fact it owed an enormous part of its deliciousness… It was as if, in some delightful way, his secret gave him a fortress, a wall behind which he could retreat into heavenly seclusion.
“Listen!” it said. “We’ll tell you the last, the most beautiful and secret story – shut your eyes – it is a very small story – a story that gets smaller and smaller – it comes inward instead of opening like a flower – it is a flower becoming a seed – a little cold seed –do you hear?....”
The hiss was now becoming a roar – the whole world was a vast moving screen of snow – but even now it said peace, it said remoteness, it said cold, it said sleep.'
Conrad Aiken, Silent Snow, Secret Snow (1932)