Recently I travelled to Kansas City Missouri for Folk Alliance International with my band Lion Bear Fox. The beauty of being a touring musician and photographer is the vibrant locales I get to visit and capture.
I've never been one to desire visiting typical tourist spots in any given city. Mostly I find myself searching for the old, run down, abandoned structures, oozing with charm and a history that makes my imagination run wild. These particular buildings are located in the Kansas City Jazz District. A neighbourhood that looks like it's growing into something new. Half a block looked like a fire erupted recently, gutting the insides and scorching the stone of these old European style relics.
I'm sure it'd be easy to find what happened and part of the allure of my preferred sight seeing adventure, is the wonderment that washes over me. I think perhaps these fires were intentional, building owners in a dying neighborhood had lost more than they could bear and needed a quick fix to help justify their loss. Maybe the electrical system had a short, sparked a fire that tore through the decrepit aging wood leaving only brick on its wake. Maybe I stumbled upon a movie lot and it is the set of the next big blockbuster.
No matter the cause, the fun is in imagining and creating wild stories that occupy the afternoon with heartwarming colour. The history within any given architectural creation, has added dimension and beauty on account of the lifetime that exists in every brick.
Every little piece has a beginning, an unknown story that started in a factory/work-yard somewhere and if hands were the ones to create the building materials each element used no matter how small, absorbs the life experience of its creator. I could spend hours with the tiniest bolt imaging where it started, what it has seen and ultimately why has its time come to an end.
Couldn't tell you the origin of my love for the dilapidated urban setting, for the reasons I stated I am mystified in the romantic charm of our need to create such structures that eventually succumb to time and lack of proper care. I also just love to find the beauty in the centre of chaos, it makes the disarray more attractive.
- Little Bear Photography