As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m a big fan of the Souls Series of games by Hidetaka Miyazaki. I especially enjoy how the art and level design accurately captures real Medieval European architecture and it’s degradation, it’s fascinating for me to see that come to life through the eyes and talent of a Japanese design team. Anyway, I was out with my sister heading to (rather appropriately for this post) the darkest place in my county, Woodchurch, in Kent. Which is a 3/4 on the Bortle Scale of Darkness
As we were heading there, in the middle of the countryside down a small road, we saw this tower off the road, and stopped the car to go and check it out. It was some full on abandoned medieval ruins and more exciting for me, they were not the touristic kind.
The Place is St. Mary’s Chapel in Little Chart, Kent, England. Built in 1200AD and then 740 years later destroyed by a V-1 flying bomb, also known as a ‘Doodlebug’ or Buzz Bomb… Check out the photos.
These greenhouses remind me of man made skeletons, prefabricated corpses of the Anthropocene, lost in the heart of the forest, with their discarded metal bones forming the framework for a new organism. Branches investigate through the roof, and the overgrowth burgeons on each side. What remains in the contents of their bellies, a time capsule of semi preserved material… broken furniture, decades old newspapers still spouting the same trash that they currently do. A children’s picture box, repurposed as a spider’s nest. Piles of miscellany which you could be sure were hiding a murder victim’s remains. On that point, I am sure that when I arrived here, I saw someone move through the forest. A brief, dark blue blur which moved away as I spoke. This place had a different, slightly darker vibe than the last. Especially with the smashed in car parked outside and rotten garage, unlocked and full of waterlogged, decaying family memories. 😭😬 Who were these people and why was the property left in such a state? It’s almost like they just upped and left. Or maybe they died. I found an old videotape, and a plastic ice cream tub containing dozens of vintage Spanish matchboxes, each with a beautiful design on them. Will try to post them at a later date.
Please like/ share if you enjoy these posts. I will be posting more frequently some more explorations into hidden/ lost/ remote and unpopulated areas.
My journey into the unknown continues, marking out the waypoints and boundaries in this transformative liminal space of grief. It has led me to an abandoned greenhouse, in the grounds of a forgotten house.
It is a space in which inhabits the culmination of my research so far. Life being one plane of focus in the abstraction of the infinite. Like vitricolous lichens pioneering colonies on the surface of glass. It is a permeable ecosystem, a ruin of care where light can enter from every angle. It is a place where absence lives.
I am a huge fan of the Dark Souls series by From Software, (and also their often overlooked version of Tenchu) and the franchise has always resonated with me, as the bleak, earthy scenery and historic content used in the game has obviously been inspired in part by the ancient strangeness of UK and European Folklore. I happen to live in an area of England in which it’s quite easy to collate my surroundings to the game. Most of this area has been inhabited since the iron age and the surrounding forests around my home are littered with strange holes, illusory doors, ruins and oddities. There is even local legend about a lost village. I will update this post with more images as I take them. Let me know what you think. If you know anywhere that would appreciate this post please share, I like looking at the stats 💀
First Series from my 35mm slide collection that I have digitised. scanned at 4800dpi using an Epson flatbed scanner with slide mounts, so I can scan 12 images at a time. Pretty much perfect for my intention with these. This series is from a market in Inezgane, Morocco, and potentially a couple from Agadir. Dated 1991. I really enjoy the warm quality of the colour pallette in these, and interesting to see the fashions, lifestyle of the time just a few years before the advent of the internet had gripped the world. There is a sense of warmness and community to the interaction between the people in the photos.
So, I’m not sure I 100% agree with Mr. Sugimoto’s quote, but from what he’s saying does this make me an image thief… or more like a hospitable man offering a place of refuge for these orphaned photos, so they can continue their life and also to preserve their memory? Anyway, let me explain… A couple of weeks back, I bid for a job lot of 35mm projection slides on ebay from the early 1990’s, and won the auction. (Hell yeah 😛 ) I was pretty stoked about winning as all the images seem to come from a collection of some unnamed photographer’s adventures in Asia and Africa, and as far as I know they haven’t been seen for 30 odd years… There are some from China, Malaysia, Morocco, Singapore etc. Featuring people, places and culture from the time period. My initial intention in buying them was mainly one of intrigue, but also I thought that if they were suitable enough, I wanted to digitise them in a high quality format. Turns out, most of are really beautiful and it’s so interesting to see and own this unique collection of images. Most of them seem to be dated from 1991 to 1994, which is when I would have been aged 5-8 living in the UK. I always had a fascination with different cultures and dreamed of travelling both to Asia and Africa at that time; (obviously world travel at that age would have been pretty ambitious, and I still haven’t got over to Asia yet), But being able to place myself in space and time at the same time that these images were taken, and having access to viewing someone else living my childhood dream at the same time as I would have been dreaming about it… is a strange and wonderful experience. Below I have taken some photos of some of the slides via my phone camera ( Huawei Mate 20 Pro) so you can see the sort of images I’m referring to. I will be purchasing a decent flatbed scanner which is able to scan at least 4000dpi x 4000dpi as this is the minimum resolution suitable according to my research in the process of digitising slides. If anyone has any knowledge in this field, or any unseen/ disused collections of images from this time period…please don’t hesitate to contact me. I hope you enjoy these images for the time being. 🙂 –
Over winter, I have tried to discover and define a visual style to my work, bound to the nature of loss and that which is lost. A meandering discourse of grief, happening upon the transitory, malleable nature of meaning. I have captured moments of recollection and mundane epiphany in photographic syllables that form the beginnings of words, but do not quite describe for me the isolation of being in this state, like the babbling of a child who has not yet formed the skeleton which underpins language. Mark-making with light and lens is intrinsically linguistic and descriptive and I am finding that photography has a broad vocabulary which I was previously unaware of. I am inclined to steer away from the more obvious visual symbolism related to the subject matter of liminal space and grief, as this experience is personal and I do not want to tarnish the work with these sort of visual tropes, nothing during this time has appeared to be obvious to me, so why should the viewer hold all the clues? It seems counter to my objective to resolve these themes in my final images.