There’s something strangely romantic about the visual impact of abandoned houses. I suppose it’s similar, in some ways, to the fascination we have with shipwrecks. Although these homes have been left to decay for entirely different reasons than being sunk to the bottom of the ocean. Though like an old house, a shipwreck still has an essence of life inside it. I first discovered my love for decay at a very young age. 13 to be exact. I remember walking through the woods not to far from my town during my school holidays, i came across an old dollhouse that was left to rot. The word ‘Ophelia’ was painted inside it. I remember the faded colours of pink. The broken windows and the roof made of card that was slowly crumbling. Inside were the remnants of toys played with by the soul who once owned the dollhouse.
After that summer, the idea that houses could be empty plagued my mind.
The first house i explored was a cottage just on the outskirts of my town. Overgrown and shrouded by thorns, i went inside and i found myself overtaken by fear. I feared a ghost or ghoul would appear from the ruined floors. But i was always told to never fear the dead, only the living.
After that, I pushed myself to start seeing the world. I was tired of being an outpatient.
I was tired of being filled with psychosis. Every single day.
My mental illness decided i would start seeing abandoned houses everywhere i looked. Whenever i would leave the hospital i would see boarded up windows or smoke echoing from the ruins of a house.
There was a sudden ‘click’ inside my mind that made me see such dark versions of reality. Like a projector, my head was filled with images of distortion and blurred essences of art that i felt i was made to do.
I still find it hard to describe my fascination with decay as it always links back to my mental health. Everything i do is to fight the voices inside my head.