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  • Results 1 to 8 of 8
    1. #1
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      "agri-ruins" - a photographic series

      Most recently on September 21st, 2017 I wrote of my intent to launch a photographic series titled "AGRI-RUINS". The series will run continuously for a full year of monthly installments focusing on the degradation of many old farm properties in the New England region. The purpose of the series is to raise awareness of our continuing loss of these most special places within our current societal framework, a slipping away of our heritage and a disconnect between the majority of our population and the importance of agriculture and our quality of life.

      Along with the debut installment for October I am including the text of my original announcement of this project to lend clarity to it's intent. I hope ye all find it both provocative and enjoyable if not disturbing on some level as ye make the journey with me from month to month.

      On 9/21/17 I wrote;

      Aye Mates,
      As a visual artist I continually seek to evoke emotion and contemplation through the images I bring to the viewer. Last year, I presented a series of photo's that I had titled "WRECKLAMATION". The series featured a 1953 Mack Dump Body Truck that had been sitting on a farm property for many years. The series was a month by month comparative of environmental changes over the course of an entire year as was relative to the seemingly constant state of the truck. The series was a popular one on this forum and several others. I received commentary from around the globe and the connection between people, the truck, and the surrounding land was one that stirred the thoughts of many viewers.

      I am embarking on another such series that I am titling "AGRI-RUINS" which will focus on buildings and equipment related to agriculture that have fallen into various states of neglect or disrepair. It is my hope that the photo series brings to thought the disconnect betwixt current day mainstream society and our once prevalent agricultural past. As we move into the future with continuing disregard for the land and all that is dependent on it, it is my hope that this series brings a more intense focus of to each viewer of how dependent we as humans and the wildlife we cherish are on our dwindling agricultural lands. "NO FARMS - NO FOOD".

      The series "AGRI-RUINS" will aptly start in October, a month commonly associated with harvest.

      "AGRI-RUINS" - OCTOBER 2017 "CLOSE TO HOME"
      I am beginning the series with photo's of an old farmstead just down the road from where I live. The property is owned by an old family friend now in his late 80's and struggling with the day to day maladies o' his health. He currently still has a small herd of beef cattle on the property which free range and often end up in the road on which I live. me old Mate grew up on the farm and I have seen historic photo's o' it in her glory days long ago and she was a stunner to say the least. NO MORE. Me elderly farmer friend is land rich and dirt poor whilst he clings to the only way o' life he has ever known, a "hold out" o' sorts and he has me enduring respect for that. The October installment includes three photographs.

      "GONE THE GLORY"
      Photo #1

      This old farmhouse once beautiful and well maintained, was the heart o' a large Slovak family that scratched out a living with ties to the earth and the animals they raised upon it. The house remains on an absolutely beautiful parcel o' land that is habitat to whitetails, Eastern Wild Turkey, woodcock, and a shadow o' the grouse population that once thrived there. Last inhabited by a family elder until his death, the old homestead has been vacant for approximately two decades. Most recently it was ravaged by opioid addicts looking to steal the copper plumbing and gutters to feed their addiction. A most sad commentary o' the current state o' both the once gloried structure and our present day societal woes.

      "CHESTNUT IMPLOSION"
      Photo #2

      The remains o' an old barn that still was used to put up hay for the herd o' "beefers" up to just about a year ago. As I rode by her on a regular basis, the barn took on a life o' it's own as it seemingly shifted under it's own weight and the hay heaped precariously in her loft, that continual battle with gravity being lost little by little. All o' the "locals" meself amongst them, feared we would eventually be informed that the owner had been killed in an implosion of the chestnut beamed structure. Somehow he managed to escape that ever looming fate. I recently stopped the old lad on our roadway to let him know that a number o' his cattle were in both the roadway and the barnyard. He snickered and said "barn, what barn"? A very sad moment we shared. The diagonal beam pointing skyward reminded me of an iconic photo of the rubbled remains of the World Trade Towers.

      'ENTER WITH CAUTION"
      Photo #3

      This old shed structure is still standing but seems as though it could collapse at any moment. Filled to the brim with who knows what, it has been home for years to a number o' feral cats, raccoons. skunks, mice, etc. It might be that there are some treasures buried deep within her bowels and it is likely that the support lended by her contents may be all that prevents her collapse.

      So friends, I have launched this series with photo's taken close to me home as the implications are close to me heart. For those o' us that still understand the connections and dependency we have on these most critical lands, this merely underscores the issues at hand. For those that are blissfully unaware or just prefer to remain complacent, I hope the series may serve as a much needed wake up call.

      Irishwhistler
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    2. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to IRISHWISTLER For This Useful Post:

      barry581 (10-03-2017), Blackboy98 (10-03-2017), SunDance (10-03-2017)

    3. #2
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      Oh, I am so going to enjoy this series.

      My maternal grandparents had a large Slovak(/German) family...Mom was one of seven kids...on a farm in Virginia. Some time after my grandmother and then my Virginia uncle died, the farm was sold off to a lumber company and eventually, I'm sure, became part of a large development. We didn't keep track of the area but I doubt very much if the house/etc. stood for long after the sale. It didn't get to age like this farm (my uncle had maintained it up until his death) but your pictures are inspiring memories of what might have been.

      I especially like the shed.
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    5. #3
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      Quote Originally Posted by SunDance View Post
      Oh, I am so going to enjoy this series.

      My maternal grandparents had a large Slovak(/German) family...Mom was one of seven kids...on a farm in Virginia. Some time after my grandmother and then my Virginia uncle died, the farm was sold off to a lumber company and eventually, I'm sure, became part of a large development. We didn't keep track of the area but I doubt very much if the house/etc. stood for long after the sale. It didn't get to age like this farm (my uncle had maintained it up until his death) but your pictures are inspiring memories of what might have been.

      I especially like the shed.
      Thanks for sharing your insight Sundance.

      Mikey🍀

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      How loudly it speaks of those who lived there in the past. I see kids, no grandkids, playing in the yard under the watchful eye of grandma sitting in her rocker while snapping beans or shelling peas which were picked by those same children in the early morning while dew was still on the plants. The shed was a spooky place, each kid daring the other to go inside, taunting each other with tales of ghosts and snakes. On stepping inside and letting eyes adjust, rays of light coming through gaps in the boards, dust motes floating like little fairies.
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    8. #5
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      FRAN,
      A creative and interesting slant to the photo's. Thanks for writing.

      Cheers,
      Mike 🍀

    9. #6
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      Seeing the photos reminds me of the TV series "American Pickers". They have a business 'Antique Archeology' that buys and resells items from the past. Their main interest is in preserving the past and its memories from items they have come across. If it were not for people like you Mike, and the people of the pickers, I fear all semblance with the past generations would surely be gone as few of the 'younger generation' what to have nothing to do with past history and its meaning to the future.

      OK, I'll get off my soapbox (I bet the youngers have NO idea what that means). but you have sparked my concern with the wonderful photos and will be eagerly watching for the next month's picks.

      Thank you for taking the time and effort to do you part. This one's for you Mike.
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    11. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by Blackboy98 View Post
      Seeing the photos reminds me of the TV series "American Pickers". They have a business 'Antique Archeology' that buys and resells items from the past. Their main interest is in preserving the past and its memories from items they have come across. If it were not for people like you Mike, and the people of the pickers, I fear all semblance with the past generations would surely be gone as few of the 'younger generation' what to have nothing to do with past history and its meaning to the future.

      OK, I'll get off my soapbox (I bet the youngers have NO idea what that means). but you have sparked my concern with the wonderful photos and will be eagerly watching for the next month's picks.

      Thank you for taking the time and effort to do you part. This one's for you Mike.
      Aye Blackboy,
      Thank ye much. I am big fan o' AP's Mike and Frank and have actually met a few folks they have visited with on the show. I also have met Mike and Evan from the show "Oddities" and see them three times per year at an antique show I work at.

      Cheers to ye Mate,
      Mikey

    12. #8
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      What a wonderful idea and thing to do, I look forward to the series.
      -------------
      There are (I hope still are) three abandoned houses on a stretch of road outside our small town, on perhaps a 1 kilometer stretch of gravel road. Their post boxes are gone and they are falling into ruin. Faye and I have visited them several times and wondered, who lived there? When did they leave, and why? There was a particularly poignant sight in one - a child's stuffed toy. Was it forgotten, deliberately left? We also wonder when each house will be knocked down, bulldozed into a pile and burned. After all, once the building is gone a few more linear feet of row crop can be squeezed in, and a few minutes are saved when planting, spraying, and harvesting because it's no longer necessary to maneuver around the building.

      I think we need to check on these houses this Thanksgiving weekend.
      Andrew, Faye, Achilles, and Fitzi

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