2011: sonhos melancolia (melancholy dreams)

Artist Statement:   Terceira (a Portuguese island in the Azores) has a seemingly endless amount of abandoned buildings; I adore them.  An earthquake struck the island near Angra de Heroismo in 1980.  I assume many of these damaged structure were simply created from quake’s aftermath.  I do know some were destroyed by other means, such a flood, fire, or simply left deserted.

I love to explore these derelict remains; they inspire and satisfy a childlike curiosity within me.  I feel like Alice in my own eerie and desolate version of Wonderland or as if I have stumbled into a faintly sinister adaptation of The Secret Garden.  I know part of my fascination with these derelict structures is from an artist’s perspective, the captivating allure of nature breaking down human constructs.  These contemporary ruins fascinate me.  I admire how nature seems to have an unlimited ability to reclaims itself.

Once these structures are neglected, the paint peels away; dust and dirt accumulate causing cracks to form in the concrete that allow roots take hold.  Foliage growth is now uninhibited by humans, ivy begins to adhere to the walls and unattended roof tiles begin to disintegrate under layers of plant growth as the seasons change.  I find compelling and comforting beauty in this.  I love this visual reassurance that nature persists far past our ability to contain it and our environmentally destructive tendencies.  Walking past these overgrown buildings causes a tranquil feeling within me, leaving me momentary at peace.

On another level my appreciation for the cultural history. Human hands constructed these buildings.  Several were in existence before my home state was ever officially a state.  As I wander through these abandoned spaces, I feel like I am walking through an old photograph, as if everything should be in sepia tone.  I can’t help but wonder about the lives once touched by these places.  At one time, these structures were new, a home for a family, or a place of business.  Each place has its own long forgotten histories of human interactions, evident in dusty photos on water-damaged dressers, bottles left on kitchen shelves, glasses on a nightstand, and sun-bleached images of various religious figures hanging crookedly on cracked walls.    How could this intriguing environment not inspire curiosity?

My eyes constantly search the landscape as I travel throughout the island, always look for new abandoned buildings to discover.  They are a captivating and unique part of my temporary island home.

Architect of Disposition
Architect of Disposition
Cardiovascular Damage
Cardiovascular Damage
Domestic Interrogation
Domestic Interrogation
Her Fleeting Breath
Her Fleeting Breath
The Housewife’s Nightmare
The Housewife’s Nightmare
Interior Dismay
Interior Dismay
Internal Autumn
Internal Autumn
Lack of Routine
Lack of Routine
Marital Interruption
Marital Interruption
No True Intention
No True Intention
Outside of Aspiration
Outside of Aspiration
Overactive Imagination
Overactive Imagination
Recollections Never Assembled
Recollections Never Assembled
She Had Locked Away
She Had Locked Away
She Whispered
She Whispered
Silence Made Itself at Home
Silence Made Itself at Home
Sleep Tight
Sleep Tight
Tangible Daydream
Tangible Daydream
The Sun Rose Without Recourse
The Sun Rose Without Recourse
The Virgin of the Flood
The Virgin of the Flood

18 Comments Add yours

  1. These photos are you great i love old decaying buildings. they start to have a colour of there own. Great spaces full of past history.

    1. Thanks. You are absolutely right-and that is one of the reasons I love these places.

  2. ghadah says:

    These touch me on so many different levels. And your comments are just the perfect period at the end of a wonderful sentence.

    1. Thanks, I am so addicted to these buildings. I haven’t gone wandering through them in a while, but they just fascinate me.

  3. This si a lovely body of work

    1. Thanks so much. I have probably over a hundred images from these places now. I am just addicted to exploring there.

  4. laura says:

    Incredible photographs. I would love to wander in spaces like that. My favorite part might be your photo titles.

    1. It took me a while to come up with the titles “abandoned I”, “abandoned II”, etc. seemed too impersonal for the imagery. I am so pleased you like them.

  5. Gorgeous. I love abandoned buildings, they are so evocative. And your pictures have great colours and shapes.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment. I have never lived somewhere with so many abandoned places–it is just endlessly intriguing.

  6. Beautiful, artful photo’s all begging to have a story told. For some reason I’m drawn to the one with the chair.

    1. Yea, that place was crazy, the inside was empty and pretty well intact, except for this one chair in that room, just sitting there in the middle under the only florescent light–creepy.

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