For this assignment I had the opportunity to photograph a property before renovation. I had heard of the condition of the property but I did not truly appreciate it until I visited. I only had one chance to capture this property and whilst I only knew a small amount about the man who had lived there I felt that throughout this assignment I grew to know him more despite never actually meeting him.
If photography is essentially light then that would explain the difficulty in photographing this property as there was a distinct lack of light , light also evokes emotion and feelings and I wanted to show the property exactly as I was seeing it, I wanted the viewer to also get a sense of this tenant in the same way I did without ever meeting or seeing him.
As I only had this one opportunity I did take some items from the flat that were destined for landfill, my idea being that I wanted to create a study of the person. Removing the items and re-photographing them against a plain white background meant I could study them more away from their dark environment.
I created ten diptychs of the images in which I placed the dark images next to the white ‘study’ images. I felt this told the story of both the property and the man, his obsessions and interests becoming clear. I feel the images manage to subtly show this persons mental health issues but also show how creative and interesting he is; his attention to detail and his passions, yet the over-riding feeling I have is of sympathy.
I feel he was alone and isolated, let down by the system that is meant to support him. He lived with no heating, there was barely any light and his food cupboards were bare. He has since moved in to a brighter place with supported living and the dark to light images also reflect this transformation as he shed away his old life and belongings and has moved on to pastures new.