"The last 20 years of research, I’ve seen how sometimes we all get so afraid of the vulnerability that we actually stop trying or doing anything that we’re not already good at doing. So if it’s not already comfortable, if we already don’t have some expertise, if we don’t already know how to do it and do it well, we’re not doing it. Here’s what’s hard, and I think scary about that. When we give up being new and awkward, we stop growing, and we stop growing, we stop living. I love that quote from Shawshank Redemption, “Get busy living or get busy dying.” When we stop growing, we start declining, there’s no neutral here. When we no longer feel that discomfort of being new, of being an awkward learner, things start to shut down inside of us. The discomfort of exploration of doing new things, of being an awkward rookie again, that’s the juice, it’s our lifeblood. It’s the secret sauce." Brene Brown
One of the areas that I have photographically studied is the industrial age in The United States. The difference a few decades can make for an entire community is evident in these types of buildings.
There are structures throughout the country that were once thriving with daily work, invention, and manufacturing to now only be sold off for trendy loft furnishings or to be added to a collectors “in case I need this for later” box.
From room to room there is a hustle of vintagers hoping to find that precious antique piece, that if they sell it to the right collector, they will become billionaires. They aren’t wrong. The industrial age is a very cool age for all things vintage, but my main intrigue is to simply capture the portrait of these inanimate objects strun everywhere before the new fingerprints reach them. The dustier, the rustier, the better.
I often think of the mummified city of Pompeii when I visit these brick buildings. Over time, Pompeii has been unveiled in small portions at a time to show life at the very exact moment the smoke and fire reached them from the explosion of Mt. Vesuvius nearby.
Our petrification of the industrial age did not come by natural disaster. There was no Mt. Vesuvius that took out the old brick buildings in a matter of moments, but yet there are so many similarities. Brick mills, warehouses, manufacturing spaces have yet to be fully excavated in the US. When they are unveiled oftentimes all of the items can be found just as they were left several decades ago.
There was a moment when the last whistle blew permanently and the machinist walked away from their bench for the last time. Years later, I have come upon them and I’m moved to capture their portrait. I use the term portrait because these items have a story, have character and a purpose. When I find them, I can see how they were last used and how they have survived so many seasons. This space is their home and I can see what they were originally created to do. And click click click begins the study with my camera, the industrial piece, and me.
Here are more images of my travels throughout the world and our discoveries: PLACES
Welcome to Convinced Photography with Cyle + Liz Davenport. During our 20+ years of photography experience we have had the opportunity to live and work in lots of great places around the world.