Misplaced Souls Project

I have been after some thing different to shoot for a while now. Just to mix things up a little.
I wanted to find something I hadn’t seen photographed for a while, if not before. I knew what it was but just hadn’t seen it yet.

A few months ago whilst driving I saw this amazing house only to realise it was completely abandoned. On the way back along the same road, I took another look and saw it was  weathered, peeling, slightly broken and lonely looking. It was like an incredible haunted house that just oozed personality without a soul inside it.

Then sadly one after another after another abandoned property seemed to appear along the same stretch of highway. That stretch of road has sat with me for the past few weeks festering. SO many questions kept cropping up about them. After having a conversation about these places, a very good friend of mine here gave me a date and told me we were going back to photograph them. She picked me up at 6am Sunday morning and we headed out. Mind you we both had been awake at 4 and 5am respectively. Her reason was feline related, but mine was with anxious energy hoping I didn’t sleep through my alarm. I haven’t been this excited about photographs for a long time.

After a coffee stop, we were off on the road. If it wasn’t for Sarah’s experience of road tripping with good friends we would have driven past all the places with all the conversations we were having haha. We’d see something slightly too late, have to reverse up the highway or do a few well maneuvered U-Turns to get back to where we were looking.
All I can admit to, is that first house we photographed was creepy. I sense people and places- like an Empath I guess, and this place just oozed creepy. Something big had definitely happened in it. As I walked around the side, I saw a vine had penetrated through one of the windows from the inside and grown up and through the roof. With some nervous giggles and stories of serial killers leaving dead bodies in abandoned houses, we left and went looking for another spot.
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We found one place which must have been beautiful in it’s day and filled with children. It had a giant tree in the front garden and the home was now hidden beneath grasses and vines. We wandered down a lane next to it to find a kids swing set completely wrapped in vines. It struck such a nerve with me I took a couple of quick snaps and wondered if the kids were old enough to outgrow their equipment before they left?
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There was a home next to a firestation which was my happy house. It just looked like it had been a cheerful little home for someone. A dog barked from accross the highway, scaring me half to death, which in turn bought out the firehouse chief. He told us the house is owned by a very wealthy family who kicked out the tenants for whatever reason and it’s sat abandoned for the past 18 or so months. They wont sell it, they wont fix it, they are letting it rot. It has asbestos in its roof, which for now is still in tact, but it will need repairs soon. The firehouse had tried on a few occasions to purchase it without success.
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There were a few other spots on our trip we stopped at like a few broken jetty’s, an old petrol station, Bass Farm and a terrible diner which was functioning for breakfast.

We then found the house that started this entire project. Snuggled under a beautiful tree next to an open space of green. It reminds me of an old house that would be used as a haunted house in a movie but with the gorgeous morning light that was on it, it was just stunning. It felt a little awkward at first but as we talked about how beautiful it would have been in its day the feeling around it changed. It had old net curtains torn and billowing out windows, holes in the roof and the back half of the home had now collapsed. Yet it still brought up so many questions in me. Who lived here? Who loved this place and why on earth did they have to leave? I also wondered quietly if it was for sale as I know I would LOVE to restore it. I’m not sure we have enough time in the years we are here to achieve that sadly.

When I loaded all the images onto my computer, I wasnt sure how to edit them. I was going to make them eerie and cold but they didnt suit that at all. I decided that I didn’t want to turn them into Halloween spooky houses, which so easily could have been done, but instead try to give them the respect, warmth and love that someone obviously had years before.
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I was so interested in the people who resided here once. Who were they? What did they love? how did they love? Why did they leave? How are these home sitting abandoned? Is there really no work in the area to sustain people? So many questions and all from a very Beloved perspective of connection.

I can’t wait to share more images of these places in the future.

XJC

Until I can get my images to load to WordPress, you can see them all here: Julie Clyde Photography

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