Edge of the Universe – A Collaborative Art Project

The ocean is a perfect analogy for our mystifying human emotions. A person could be our best friend forever, but we still may never fully understand their inner world from their portraits. We masquerade as how we want others to see us, regardless of how we are actually represented. The sea reflects our truest feelings – she makes us feel. This is why it is so confronting, yet peaceful; fearful, yet beautiful.

The other day, a good friend had sent me a photo of her as a teenager. The image itself was nothing special – a blurry image of an ordinary girl with a hardly visible face standing in the centre. She looks to be cold, braving the wind in her bright white sweater that appears out of place and out of time. There was a certain vulnerability that permeated through the image. As soon as she provided me with the accompanying caption, I understood its significance right away: “18 years old and seeing the ocean for the first time”.  Surely, a caption is not always necessary to create meaning for the viewer, but this image will never be the same without the appropriate words from the girl within.  In essence, the words provided the key to unlocking the ocean of emotions beneath it all.

In a portrait, there is no absolute truth, and no simple answer to our real identities, not even to ourselves. In fact, an ambiguity of feelings and emotions resonate through some of my favourite photos, as if the thoughts of the subject within paint a new and different picture for every viewer. A great portrait is like an ocean – it’s a mirror that invites introspection while guiding us to a beautiful and surreal place that escapes meaning. This is the unequivocal and universal power of these photographs.

We could travel the world and explore all our favourite cities and cultures. Yet, the ocean is the only place that we could not openly lose ourselves in. It exists before we were born and will most likely continue to exist after our clock runs out, much like a story with no beginning and no end. We are endlessly familiar with it, but also completely foreign to it at the same time, almost like our own little universe right in our backyard. So, next time you go to the beach, don’t forget to send us a postcard, right from the edge of the universe.

Show us what the Edge of the Universe means to you!  Submit your photos and stories.

This project is open for submissions from August 13th, 2017, and closes on September 18th, 2017 at midnight EST.  For each week within the duration of the project, a special Shrill Cats stamp will be revealed and available for that week only.  All submissions posted during that week and selected by Shrill Cats will feature that stamp in the final postcard at the end of the project on ShrillCats.com .  Multiple submissions are encouraged.

The best photos and accompanying stories will be will be shown on Shrill Cats Magazine online at: http://shrillcats.com/ at the end of the project.

To participate:

  1. Follow us on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/shrill.cats/
  2. Tag #shrill_cats with your submissions
  3. Include post title: “Edge of the Universe @shrill.cats”
  4. Include a story to accompany each submission, and tag everyone that you wish to send each postcard to


August 13th to 19th



August 20th to 26th



August 27th to September 2nd



September 3rd to September 9th



September 10th to September 12th



September 13th to September 18th



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Shrill Cats is a magazine made for artists, by artists.  We are always on the look out for photography with a unique, creative perspective.  All photos submitted to Shrill Cats Magazine are automatically considered for publication in our print issues.  The best photos are chosen and featured in our print magazine.  Click here for details.