Saturday, February 24, 2007

I've been working in the studio all this last week - yes I have! But I don't have anything to show you yet as all my projects are "in process". I could show you bits of cut out this or that, but it might be pretty boring. Better to wait until things are at least recognizable as something. Photos are forthcoming, I promise.

In the meantime, I've also been on a photo taking kick, for the sheer pleasure of taking photos. I've been going on long walks and bringing my camera. Even when a busy schedule or cold and wind has made me forego the walking, I've found no end of interesting scenes that have compelled me to pull over to the side of the road and "click".

A lot of what I've been photographing is junk. I mean, literally, junk. Junk has always fascinated me. Big junk, little junk, junk shops, junk yards, little junk found on the sidewalk (for some inexplicable reason when I was in Edinburgh I kept finding pearl buttons on the sidewalk), collectible junk, "mhhhmmmm, what-can-I-make-out-of-THAT" junk. Here is some of the junk I've photographed in the last few weeks.

I certainly don't think people should be abandoning vehicles willy nilly, but sometimes, when an old truck or car has been left long enough - covered in vines, rusting in the desert like old bones, it becomes part of a place. These long abandoned vehicles look like old dinosaurs exposed in the layered time of the river's embankment.

Just an old bumper, but to me, here it looks like the fin of an old whale, flung against the sky.

Old metal boxes - I simply liked the muted block of colors.

An old hubcap? Or a giant button sewn into the tree?

How many ghosts, memories, shadows, conversations, stories did this bus pick up on it's journey before being forgotten by all but field mice and curious photographers?

Old treasures found and lined up to catch the evening sun. From the outside, they're dusty bottles in a window. From inside looking out, I bet they sparkle like stained glass.

Just a cut off piece of plastic piping in the gutter, the red color makes it the most interesting object on the road. I kicked it down the street for three blocks and then hung it over a picket on my front yard fence.

I'm obviously not the only person who is enamored of junk. Think of shoe trees and muffler men, gardens full of old toilets and bed frames. Junk is not only interesting in it's own "evironment" (if it wasn't for junk, cultural archeologists would have a much tougher time trying to work out the lives of ancient peoples), but people like to transform junk into all sorts of things, including art.

I went in search of a few junk websites and discovered I'd lost an entire afternoon following a trail of junk through the internet. If you're interested in taking a cyber-hike of your own, you'll have no lack of paths to investigate, but here's a few links just to get you started.

Steve Oatway, Junk Artist - I like the way you click on each door to view his galleries.

Here's a short article that captures the feel and appeal (at least to me) of entering a junk store.

And here's a fascinating site where you can pic and choose what kind of junk you want to look at!

This isn't all junk, but a lot of these folk art shrines and creations started with someone's love of junk. Check out the Cathedral of Junk.

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