Hauntings: Places We Once Called Home (Ongoing)
History defines each of us, and for me the link between the past and present has always captivated me. In fact, as an artist it defines much of what I do, and even how I live my life. It’s as if I always have one foot in the past, and one in the present. For these reasons, it only makes sense that I have been irresistibly drawn to abandoned buildings and lands since I was a child. Hauntings: Places We Once Called Home is a series of photographs that spring from this lifelong obsession, while touching upon the emotions that continually drive me to seek these places out.
I have specifically concentrated on the rural landscape; haunted by the dwindling remnants of what were once thriving farms and bustling towns. Today, the deserted structures contained in these areas stand vulnerable and unprotected due to historic population shifts, resultant remote location, difficult accessibility and often-prohibitive restoration costs. In this series of photographs, I strive to embody the spirit of place that exists in these desolate structures, where fragments of history hang in the balance.
The once vibrant homes, and manicured pastures and fields, now wild and overgrown form the backdrop and motivation behind these photographs. I cannot deny the ever-present feeling of past lives and history now disregarded, as I wander in and among the forsaken ruins. I am enveloped by a lonely foreboding while at the same time feel a presence, as I’m drawn in, literally haunted by light and shadow.
These abandoned structures and lands being taken back by nature meld into the landscape, as they accept their fate, while the ethereal, human figures, staged seem fitting inhabitants, dreamily linking the past to the present. These manifestations help me to evoke the illusory sensibility that captivates my imagination and beckons me to return as I drift in between perception and reality. At the same time, I deliberately create a study of tensions and contrasts between the figure and the settings they inhabit while presenting the cycles of degeneration and renewal; the metaphors for life and death.
As time marches on, these unearthed discoveries remind me of my own mortality, while framing destiny itself. Ultimately, my goal is to encapsulate this feeling by highlighting time’s stark perpetuity as evidenced by nature’s wrath. Conversely, for just as decay and new growth work in harmony in nature, my intention is that these photographs will leave the viewer with a sense of regret, although coupled with a greater sense of renewal.
While nature swallows up these last structures, I realize these places will never again be revitalized, and it is only a matter of time before they will all vanish forever. This awareness leaves me torn, for ironically as I celebrate nature’s victory, so too do I mourn the loss of these last remaining vestiges of our historic past, these places that forever haunt me; these places we once called home.