Just before sunrise on Sunday morning I waited with Andrew at the side of the road for his transport to arrive. The night before he had left his tractor on site.
Having asked Andrews permission beforehand if I could explore the farmyard, I waved goodbye to him and set off eagerly with my camera and tripod. It was bitter cold and the rising sun did nothing to ease the biting chill. The sunrise did however transform the muted mid tones of my rural locale into sharp clean graphic textures.
Like yesterday, time stretched and warped making hours feel like minutes. I do not exaggerate when I state I could easily lose myself in a series for years and not be bored. There is always too much to be seen in one visit, always a beauty that you will miss. The beauty ever evolving. I am ever seduced.
In the evening I showed Andrew what I had captured. It was funny when I had to explain where one of the shots was taken even though he has lived there all his life. To be fair I suppose we are all guilty of observing the overall view and not inspecting the detail.
missionexplore abandoned building(s) and take photos
sharing of image filesdenied
In a car park of undisclosed location I met my new friend Mark Chalmers - our mutual interests being photography and disintegration. An architect to trade, in his free time Mark photographs abandoned buildings in the UK and abroad. His love of these forgotten structures is recorded sympathetically and kindly with expired analogue film. His reportage is accompanied by journalistic research and passion.
A short walk later Mark rang the door bell of the owners of the building(s) we had been given permission to photograph. After an initial tour of the site in which the owner furnished us with much local knowledge, we were trustingly left to explore for as long as we liked and take photographs. We eagerly immersed ourselves into the disintegration, greedily recording our environment. Intoxicated we lost ourselves in warped time, emerging well over a couple of hours later. I think our host was slightly perplexed by our excitement. Even so, he kindly gifted me these...........
The end of our adventure was a late lunch and the chance to find out more about each others interests. This is the second time that I have met Mark, the first time being at a pinhole camera workshop.
Since embarking on the Master Programme I have since met many kind, interesting and clever people who have been willing to share their interests, time and knowledge with me. My new friends however have made me realise how small my world has been up until now.
At lunch Mark asked me how many other buildings I had explored. 'Not many' my reply.
And the reasons?
The first is my daughter, I have devoted most of my time to enriching her life: and now that she is on the cusp of adulthood I have time to devote to myself.
The second reason?
I am afraid to explore alone.
I am a white, privileged woman living in a free country. I have a Higher Education. I have a well paid job and own my home. Surely these attributes would keep me safe. However, for near forty years I have lost count of the times I have had to deal with groping and/or sexual aggression. Ninety nine per cent of time by men who pertain to be my friend, who are equally privileged. As a result I am afraid to be alone in a semi isolated location or have to face the accusation of 'what were you doing there by yourself', if i did go alone and something did happen. Adventures with my camera are therefore undertaken with people that I trust.
I am thankful to the male friends in my life who treat me with respect.