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Spooky

The art of decay, abandoned objects

Rust, dust, no fuss as the object slowly collapses

It is a reminder of the impermanence of objects, that once there was the bustle of people now there is regenerating bush and silence. It can be spooky walking around the rusting machinery wondering who was the last driver of the bush tram and how it got left in the forest. The closed church with its boarded windows witnessed weddings now it’s only visitor is a pony grazing the unkempt grass.

Abandoned Catholic church, New Zealand Abandoned Catholic church
Museum pieces, valued because it is old, New Zealand Museum pieces, valued because it is old

Hot spots for abandoned objects, places and things is where economic activity has fallen off a cliff. People simply walk away. Excellent examples can be found on the West Coast of the South Island where the lure of gold quickly turned to dust.

Econiomic decline, Gold mining relics being reclaimed by nature, New Zealand Econiomic decline, Gold mining relics being reclaimed by nature
Ohura main street, closed and empty, New Zealand Ohura main street, closed and empty

Economic downturn can result in abandoned buildings. Farming is consolidated into larger blocks of land with small independent farms either sold, houses left to rack and ruin or abandoned. The house is no longer about memories, rather it’s a barn with hay or a place for cows to shelter.

Abandoned home Murchison to Westport SH6, New Zealand Copy of Abandoned home Murchison to Westport SH6
Repurposed former farmhouse now stores hay, New Zealand Repurposed former farmhouse now stores hay

Nineteenth century witnessed war and land approriation resulting in loss of habitat and the abandonment of historic pa sites. All that remains is the shape of whare (home) against the contours of the land. There is no house yet the landscape remembers once there was. Ghosts definitely remember the place.

abandoned, New Zealand abandoned
Abandoned farmhouseNelson to Murchison Spring Grove, New Zealand Abandoned farmhouseNelson to Murchison Spring Grove

Technology overtakes objects and pieces making them redundant and no longer useful. Often the value of the object is very little and the piece is simply left in the place it was last used. It is a reminder of the transient nature of many objects. Recently covid has witnessed planes in vast parking lots. The nineteenth century saw early tractors and now cars are covered in the undergrowth.

Agricultural equipment returning to nature, New Zealand Agricultural equipment returning to nature
Delivery van, past its use by date, New Zealand Delivery van, past its use by date

Repurposed, reimagined decaying objects are fun. Whether the object is functional or not doesn’t matter. The new identity is enough with the history of the object’s life part of the story of its use and function.

Recycled coal bucket now garden planter, Reefton, New Zealand Recycled coal bucket now garden planter, Reefton
Recycled fun, Kaka Point lookout, two rowers getting into the rhythm, New Zealand Recycled fun, Kaka Point lookout, two rowers getting into the rhythm

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