DERELICT: SILENT & STILL
This body of work is a study of abandoned houses in rural Mayo.

During urban renewal, many houses are left derelict, shored-up by timbers, waiting for the land-price to be right. These half-houses, bisected through internal walls, are the decay left behind as human's move on. They have been stripped of all but the barest evidence that they were once inhabited by humans: a broken plate, a discarded shoe, they exude a sense of abandonment and loss. They have been left as - quite literally, a waste of space. I found each of them rotting in silence and endeavoured to give them a voice using only framing and natural light.

These pictures are not about the people who abandoned them, but about the places themselves. They illustrate the architecture of abandonment, finding structure in the chaos and respecting the dignified silence that pervades these often abused, abandoned structures. Nothing was moved or touched in these buildings, none of the pictures were set up – I worked entirely with what was in front of me.

What emerged for me was the colour that exposed itself through the green joists, flaky paint, discarded builders plastic – creating a vibrancy among the decay: an awareness that objects can become transformed into something beautiful despite, or in fact, because of human neglect.

What was left behind in these houses is the ultimate in cast-aside useless rubbish, a de-bowled sofa, broken insulation board, damp wooden doors – the waste of a privilege. As places that are neither being nurtured for what they are, or re-developed into something more significant, they are, in effect, meaningless. As an artist, I am giving these compositions a significant pertinence through inviting the viewer to ask questions – what lies in the black unlit space behind the crumbling doorway? Who once sat on that sofa and why did they leave? Why did the builders stud and dry line those walls and then abandon the job? The dereliction in itself tells an untold story. I am also suggesting that human dereliction does not preclude beauty.