The beauty of the abandoned and the intrigue of the decaying and discarded are imagined in captivating ways by a handful of visionary artists. Contemporary artists are capturing scenes of abandonment, loss and decay through photography, painting and sculpture, creating pieces that are both haunting and beautiful.
Antoinette Williams delves into the allure of the abandoned as she reveals 6 artworks that explore the beauty of absence, decay and disrepair.
Whether you find it ethereal or haunting, there is something alluring about the mystery that comes with deserted spaces and abandoned, ghostly places. Beautiful monuments to time and creativity are often left to mind themselves when their usefulness has run dry.
For artists these reflective spaces often become the subject of fascination and exploration. Perhaps it is a realisation that we too are temporary in our greatness, and one day our streams will become arid, leaving only the remnants of presence. It is an illusion of time that plays with our thoughts and inserts itself into long lost desires. It is the essence of all that is and will be, and the result is some truly poignant art.
Discover my favourite artworks that uncover the allure of the abandoned and bring these haunting spaces alive with emotive effect.
Rapprochement, Geoffrey Ansel Agrons
A dreamy image that stirs the depths of imagination. Agrons’ photography belays the undercurrent of emotions that can be explored through unassuming landscapes.
Untitled (Necropolis I), Johnathan Alibone
A more fitting title could not have been selected. This image conjures thoughts of a distant departure to a far away land. Mysterious and foreboding this work is one of a series, aimed at presenting the viewer with both the anonymous and uncertain, they depict a land and its inhabitants at the furthest reaches of our own; a world that is recognisable, yet also strange and unknowable.
Green Hotel, Gina Soden
An abandoned hotel in Germany sets the stage for this powerful piece by Gina Soden. The room that has been completely overtaken by nature, it reflects how easily human extravagances can submit to nature once they fade into neglect.
Says Queen Triptych, Etienne Clement
In Eat Cake! Says Queen, three loosely interpreted key events of the French revolution are staged and presented, served almost to us viewers, on circular trays. In each piece, the concave backdrop pierced by a threshold contributes to the narration of the events, contextualizing it, emphasizing the inside/outside dichotomy, the safe versus the unsafe territories.
West Park 30#, Tim Crooks
A haunting image, Crooks has managed to turn the former psychiatric hospital into an alluring space that begs to be re-claimed and re-imagined. This series invites the viewer to contemplate the metaphorical implications for both mental health and institutionalization in a broader sense.