Ms. Ruin's Playthings

"The imagination imitates. It is the critical spirit that creates." -Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Show Must Go On!

Why am I so captivated by buildings that lay in ruin?  I don’t have a concrete answer, I can’t make statements to appease anyone…I can only tell you what I feel about these abandoned places that I have visited and captured through my lens.

I got my start in photography while grieving.  I felt like I was carrying a graveside monument on my heart, I felt dead inside and I had shed so many tears and had so many moments of complete and sheer anguish that I couldn’t relate to anything but the dead, the forgotten, the abused and the abandoned. 

I turned to my art at that time and decided that I was going to make a canvas –I just needed a picture of an actual graveside monument to help me depict my sadness.  With camera in hand, I made my way into a beautiful cemetery on a bitter and cold January day.  If I close my eyes I can hear the crunching of the grass below me as my tennis shoes crushed the ice that blanketed the Earth.  I was alone in that large cemetery, one that went on and on –as far as the eye could see.  I was drawn to one monument and then another and another.  Many of them sat there for nearly a hundred years and longer.  I imagined how beautiful they must have been 70-80-90-100 plus years ago.  But now they were broken, faded, worn, and tattered…and to me they were still beautiful.  I put the viewfinder to my right eye and began snapping away.  I would pause and put the camera down from time to time to catch my breath and cry, but it was a different kind of crying –it was a healing sob. 

I soon started sharing my images with loved ones and they were quite amazed.  I had dabbled in photography in the past, but not to this extent.  In fact, I don’t think I have a knack for photography but through my despair I harnessed something that not only moved me, but it moved others.  And when I step foot in a cemetery or a rundown building, I’m able to “go there” –to that place where I’m still searching for tranquility, not always for myself but sometimes for others.  Some have described a lot of my images as “haunting”.  I can see why they would portray my art in that manner.  But to me they are solace, they are quietude, and they are a glimpse of hope in a place where unyielding objects have sanctioned the darkness against their own will. 

Who knew that I could inspire others when all I was trying to accomplish was peace within me?  I have not and probably will not share all of the intimate details of why I photograph the things I photograph…the headstones, the monuments, the dilapidated buildings and homes.  Rest assured that my photos speak for themselves.

With all that said, here are some images I captured over Christmas of an abandoned high school auditorium in Premont, Texas.  Row after row of unoccupied seats and boisterous objects…forgotten by so many, but center stage through these eyes.

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