2015 new project themes – Abandoned and worn

2015 new project themes – Abandoned and worn

Anything that is worn down has a story behind that wear.

The physical appearance may simply be the natural actions of time or exposure to the elements but then there is a story about that object or place before the years of repeated use, the rust and the rot changed it.

The idea for this project began in my parents backyard during a cleanup. I came across tools and other objects that had seen better days. A shovel my father had used for decades to tend his vegetable patch. The remains of an old clay pipe half buried in a garden bed. A small hand fork with the tines worn down to almost nothing.

At one point these were all useful things and they were valued and looked after. It was difficult to see them like this, knowing my father was not here to clean, oil or sharpen them. He was loath to throw away things that could be repaired or repurposed. Many of the things he built used recycled timber and nails that had been straightened after being bent on a previous job.

This is a different world. The mass-produced object has little value and is discarded and replaced without a second thought. It may not even have been worn or broken, just obsolete.

Restoring any of these objects was at best impractical but they had value to me as a physical connection to my father and I wanted to retain that somehow. My thoughts turned to what other purpose they could be put to but even that was limited.

The idea of photographing them should have been obvious.