A Faded Prairie Light is a series of experiments about lighting in abandoned structures on the Canadian Prairies.
This project is inspired by the voyeuristic imagination of a type of photography called ruin porn, as well as looking within the windows of an abandoned homestead house in the prairies. This project was originally conceived as a series of time-lapse videos taken as light travels through a building during sunsets, or as vehicles go by late at night before Covid-19 began to make visiting these places irresponsible.
Instead of a house, however, I have constructed a miniature building to allow me to explore these concepts. This structure is the same as another building created for play and imagination, the dollhouse, but is designed to appear decayed instead of pristine.
The inspiration for the design, decisions for walls and floors are based upon houses I photographed in 2003 in Camrose, Alberta.
The simple floorplan for this initial exploration of space is from research into catalog houses from the early 1900's, done while creating Walls: Retaining Memory.
As a challenge for myself during this time of crisis a new video using light and this model was created and uploaded to Instagram daily throughout August 2020.
These experiments will inform my creative practice as I determine how bright light needs to be within gallery spaces, how far away it must be to achieve certain effects and the speed that is necessary for it to get the right results.
This is the instagram link for A Faded Prairie Light. You can see the changes in technique and format as I refine certain processes and explore different methods of capturing some of the detail.
As an experiment this project has no final artwork that will be created but will inform future work in technique, duration and methodology. This is unfunded work.
Two examples of light within old farmhouses
Examples of texture in an old farmhouse, and texture inside model
an exterior photo of the model house and examples of how light works within the space.