Quiet Houses

Dear Alfie,

A couple of days ago I wrote to you about my love for old and delapidated buildings, and how I wanted to use them more as a subject for photography.  In truth they have always held some kind of strange fascination for me since my late teens.  Possibly the influence of grunge music, and films like Seven and The Crow which I spent so much time with in the early 1990’s.  I’m not really sure.  I think it’s the very human way in which their deterioration mirrors that of our own: if left alone, unloved and uncared for, we, like these buildings, just turn to rubble and dust.  During the early 90’s I felt quite lonely after Dad passed away, existing but without the right care and attention to keep me in good condition, and I allowed myself to deteriorate somewhat.  Looking back, that would explain why I could relate to these old buildings, it was almost like I empathised with them.  Looking back now, I also know that there were people out there trying to give me the right care and attention; I just wasn’t letting them.  But that’s a lesson for another day.

Anyway,  I was recently shown to the website of Jane Wright, a local photographer whose work includes includes some amazing pictures of St John’s Hospital, the old asylum near where we live.  The pictures show a building stood empty for many years, and in many ways gone to ruin.  Knowing the history and the purpose of the building, there is an eerieness to the photos, but also a strange beauty to many of them.  I’d like to thank Jane, because I felt so inspired by her pictures that I began to consider a whole new area of photography, away from the portraits that I felt so safe with.  It was with this newfound inspiration that I set off down the A15 early in January to an old house that we pass at least 2 or 3 times a week.  As I parked up and walked towards the old place I felt excited and nervous at what I might find.  On more than one occasion your mum and I had talked about the possibility of buying the house and fixing it up.  The following are a few of the pictures I took, not in the same league as Jane’s, but a satisfying start to a new area of photography.  I’ve played with them a bit to highlight and exaggerate certain features.

Love Dad x

9 thoughts on “Quiet Houses

  1. WOW! These are amazing photographs, I loved so much. Especially the colours! This is great post. I am impressed, Thank you, with my love, nia

  2. These are incredible… and how weird.. I was just out shooting an old falling down farm house. But it was hard through the fence and long grass… kept thinking I was going to get bitten by a snake:) But these shots are very impressive… I especially love the one through the window.

  3. Love these Mark, really like the coloured chipped paint stairs…..spooky too…..everytime Jay & I pass that old farmhouse, we say oneday we would like to do it up! I wonder how lived there?
    Gill x

    • Thank you Claude. I’m hoping to tackle the old hospital referenced in my post next. Not that I condone trespassing, but the possibilities may be a little too enticing to stay away.


  4. You have a fantastic eye for setting a scene and evoking a sense of curiosity! I love the photo of the two bottom steps as they curve away and up through the doorway. I want to find out where they lead. I could look at these photos for hours, come back and still find more in them. Thank you

I can't grow if you don't add to my flow....

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