Samuels explores abandoned houses, schools, hospitals and asylums, and takes with her a cast of costumed characters. Her team use the suggested narratives found within the buildings to create disconnected, ethereal and often unsettling images, that play with ideas of memory, story-telling and the reclamation by nature of the man-made structures.
Samuels work also explores the issues around legality, and the public’s relationship with forbidden space. Entry into buildings often involves evading security and dogs, or being found and removed by the police, but once inside, these buildings become places for play or provide an opportunity to escape sociological rules. This can make spaces feral and unsafe, but can also give buildings that have been secured for decades back to the public.
In entering the buildings herself, creating narratives and documenting found objects and spaces, Samuels offers these spaces back to her audience, once again making them public and shared spaces.
With her Photographic Dioramas, Samuels painstakingly builds her images into three dimensions. In so doing, she creates a new environment, and invites her audience to explore it, as she has explored the original building.