Deeply disturbing yet silently beautiful, this is how I describe my latest bout of urban exploration. An historically old house, fallen into rack and ruin, fought over by family and council alike, now sits starkly proud amongst the abandoned block and she has attracted my wandering eye for a few years now. An opportunity last weekend, combined with the cool autumn light provided a unique chance to capture local Bendigo history before the bulldozers, termites or time herself won the inevitable battle we all face.
The outside is stark, much like I envisaged the people whom had once called it home. The history goes back, a blacksmith’s shop for shoeing horses used to be outback. The feel harks back to holidays spent with my now deceased grandfather, a few weeks in Urana over Christmas.
The interior reveals the lack of means to provide more modern facilities, or the desire not to. Heating was by relatively small open fire places, I asked myself whilst taking these picture – “Was the old man/women of the house able to carry wood to keep themselves warm or did they shake uncontrollably under a thin blanket during mid-winter?”. The answer, I sadly do not know. The wash room had no visible facilities for a washing machine but an old two tub, stone basin stood steadfast on the hard dirt-like floor. Overwhelmed with emotive connection, the living room spoke to me of days gone past. Was this the last refuge of joy or did the occupant draw their last breath here? Either situation would be found bathed in the warming sunshine.
During this photo shoot, humbled is how I felt then as well as when processing both the pictures and writing this blog entry. Humbled to capture a small glimpse into what was probably a very prosperous life in their time, sadly drawn into disrepair at the end…
Do you have any similair buildings that speak to you in your area or do you feel moved by the ingrained human story I have captured? Your thoughts and discussion are appreciated.
The entrance, now hidden and overgrown.