An Unknown Place

This project I looked at places where you don’t expect yourself to end up. These images are my response to an unknown space. Both of the places I visited are very different but share prominent similarities. The first is taken in a city and many would say that it is the subconscious of the city, here I felt very unwelcome and being a young women I felt uneasy. However, the people I met and spoke to seemed to be in this environment due to their need to be alone. Many would come here to take drugs and drink, I found this very upsetting and began to think about their situation more and more. After thinking I came to the conclusion that instead of this place being somewhere people would “drown their sorrows” it is a place where they could be who ever they wished to be and not worry about anyone else’s views of them. HOB_289 After going to this place that was so alien to me I wanted to explore more environments that may contain the same emotions. So I set my sights on visiting Princetown in Dartmoor which is home to Dartmoor Prison. I wasn’t sure what to expect as this place was home to a couple thousand people in this small town. As I drove over the the hill the grey prison loomed over the landscape making it impossible to ignore. There was an odd feeling when I reached my destination as people where obviously in their houses on this cold winters morning, lights on, smoke coming from chimneys but not a soul to be seen. The eerie quietness surrounding this town was hard to miss; if you don’t live there then you don’t stop, people were constantly driving through, in a sense this area was a non-place. Buildings that were once a place of joy and excitement were left to crumble, new buildings that were made for new lives and families, were never finished and like the old left to rot in the harsh weather. Even the church where once you would expect to find hope and light was just an empty shell. This almost derelict town, was still inhabited. What I came to realise that perhaps what both these places have in common is the loss of hope. However, they are very different but they are very similar too. Although the place in the city for escape seems like it is the most depressing, for me it is the one with the most hope. In a city you have people to bounce off, to inspire and to be inspired. However, when returning to the countryside it is easy to feel lost and engulfed by the vast landscape. Although both places contain the same “types” of people, with no doubt different stories there is a sense that these places are hidden away and ignored by the public. When being in both situations there was a strong feeling that I was inside a bubble where anyone would be able to see or hear me. To bring these two small projects together I decided to make a book. I used mixed media to created worn away surfaces and dark colours to represent the gloominess in which both places held. I used white washes to mimmic the way in which shops that have closed down wash out their windows. I also used house hold products such as bleach, tin foil and tea. At the time I didn’t title this project and only now decided to call it “An Unknown Place”.