Friday, December 01, 2006
Shattered and forgotten
Abandoned building, William and York [click to enlarge]
This picture was taken just beside the railroad tracks that define the southern border of London's downtown core. The richness of the worn red brick startled me when I first saw it, and I tried mightily to get the wall and the adjacent tracks into the same shot. In the end, the lighting didn't work. Neither did the composition. I was trying to tell two different stories, and that isn't always feasible in the same frame.
[Please see my earlier entry, Wrong side of the tracks, for the other side of this story.]
So I stood on the tracks and shot straight north. The resulting image of ruined architecture haunts me. I know that society has its fair share of tangible and intangible fringes. I generally keep such thoughts in the back of my mind, namely to ensure I don't end up on the wrong side of the tracks at the wrong time of day. But the fact that they are off-limits makes them a source of curiosity to those of us lucky enough to have a warm home to return to.
They had to have been livable and nice at some point in time. The area wasn't always populated by drug users and other seeming castoffs of society. What happened to precipitate these buildings' - and the people who lived and worked in them - decline? Can we learn anything by heading down there and taking a look?
I don't have the answers. But I do know that I need to look at the uglier aspects of our world a little more often through my lens. Whatever stories lurk there, I hope to reflect them in some way here.
Your turn: What are your perspectives on ruined architecture?