Large external shifts related to trade, industry or transportation often have very specific, and at times, catastrophic effects on a local economy. My work observes the results of changing economies in smaller communities, both past and present and the physical traces of such changes. While effects are felt immediately by the residents, a longer period of time reveals changes that manifest themselves in the built environment. The photographs take on an archaeological nature, seeking out the traces of these effects, and perhaps in turn, discovering something of what was felt by those who occupied the spaces before me.
To do this, I thoroughly explore both the exterior and interior of chosen locations, making observations with my camera to better understand the relationship between the built environment and human interaction with it. Usually it is personal elements that interest me, those deliberately placed as a way of individualizing and making more functional a less-than-ideal or bureaucratically built space by an individual or group. Over time, these human modifications accumulate, resulting in a visible layering of history within the spaces, from which something of the changes which have taken place in the broader community can be read.
Photography, and in particular, analog colour photography, has proven to be the ideal medium for my exploration of my subjects, both for it’s indexical connection to what is being depicted and its lineage in the tradition of other socially-conscious documentary photography. I find colour to be essential in creating the images, to locate them distinctly in the present while still capturing those colours which clearly associate certain elements with the past.