On January 1, 2010 I visited a ghost town. It was a space used for movies a few decades ago, built to resemble an old western town. I was inspired, hugely, by what I saw, despite knowing that it was all crafted to look a certain way instead of evolving organically. It was old and rustic and beautifully decorated. I decided to create a picture there that day. I sat on the steps of a saloon and thought and thought until I finally connected with an idea: a ghost trying to get into the building, but failing. Hitting the wall with force, but sticking to the outside instead. An outsider in her own world.
I found myself, nearly 4 years later, at a similar building. This time I was in Dubai, UAE and the ghost town wasn’t a set built to resemble the real thing: it was the real thing. This ghost town had been abandoned several times. The buildings were made of sand and concrete and coral from the ocean, and I was inspired by each and every piece of it. We drove the streets, through the sand, in total awe of what these buildings possessed. History. Timelessness. Age. Decay. I wanted to be a part of it.
I found myself in a similar situation as the first time I encountered a ghost town. I had to sit on the steps of a building and think. How did I want to portray this beautiful space? I thought back to that first picture I had created and decided to, despite it being 4 years later, do a sequel. Something that excited me and moved me. I wanted to create another spirit character, this time more calm, simply roaming the walls that she knows so well, trapped in a space that has home written all over it, yet never feeling at peace.
When we drove up to this particular building there was a chair placed perfectly outside of the house. We never touched the chair, not even an inch. We left it right where it was and shot with it. Part of that due to how perfect it looked there, like someone put it there to entice us. The other part was out of respect, a certain feeling that, upon moving the chair, we would diminish it.
I hope that you enjoy both images, or, if “enjoy” is the wrong word, I hope they strike something inside.