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The abandoned laundry building at Fort Ord, along the Monterey bay in California, was amazingly rich with the ephemera of life on base. Though by the time I started photographing there, the machinery was gone, leaving behind only hints of how the space was laid out and used. Noticing where the washing and drying machine pads were located, the step smoothed concrete around them, smudges and subtle marks, guided my imagination to how it use to be.
I had been photographing around the building for more than an hour before the bed linen, littered around the floor, seriously caught my attention. I had dismissed these grimy sheets but because they were in stark contrast to the concrete, they kept catching my eye. So after finishing taking what I thought were the “important views”, I walked around one.
It amazes me how something so banal and even repulsive can, in a moment, be transmuted and transformed by just a different point of view. The change began by recognizing a classical Victorian angelic form similar to a candleholder I own, but the smudges, foot prints, mud and multi-colored paintball marks on the linen, reminded me of a different understanding of angels.
A number of years earlier, I met a wonderful artist, Chris Miroyan. At that time she had a series of paintings which challenged me. Dark brooding figures in various landscapes that brought back memories of childhood nightmares. I asked her about them and she shared that they were angels and dark because they carried the troubles of the humans they were meant to help. Lightening the load till their wards were able to take the troubles back, and deal with them.
In an instant, Chris’ dark and foreboding forms, were changed into compassionate, self-sacrificing life partners, forever changing my understanding of angels… and my youthful nightmares.
Working with this angelic detritus, the series of photographs titled, Angel’s Rest, Angel’s Way, Angel’s Moment, and Angel’s Frock were created, reminding me that the journey is filled with reminders, guides, coincidences, serendipities and surprises that make the next step… more!
Still, I smile imagining an angel sending out it’s dirty laundry.
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