Sunday, September 4, 2011
Abandonment Issues: Haliburton School of The Arts
The Haliburton School of The Arts, a campus of Sir Sandford Fleming College, was established in 1967, and continues to offer a wide variety of courses ranging from glass blowing to sustainable building design. At the turn of the millennium however, a new campus was constructed in Haliburton, and this old building along a curvy road on the northern shore of Head Lake was left to decay by it's new owners. Left to nature, vandals, and time.
On this day, over a decade after this 'sculpture' was abandoned, it is truly a beautiful piece of art, through my eyes.
The two large classrooms are succumbing to the forces of nature. Moss and mould are merely abstract images painted by Mother Nature upon the floorboards and walls. The geometric patterns of hardwood flooring against the clean lines in the ceiling tiles in the offices are a stark contrast to the warped, soggy floorboards in the mouldy classrooms. Desks have been overturned, and chalkboards have been signed by fellow explorers, as is tradition. Computer monitors present in previous explorer's photographs, were found outside, demolished. A pencilled sketch on white paper, taped to a white wall, depicts a room with a clock, a window, and a chair. I can't help but wonder if that room exists, and if it too, is abandoned by now?
Bored of education
Abstract by Mother Nature
It is no secret that I am motivated by my fascination with the transformation of public and private space. It was this fascination that had me wandering the back alleys of Vancouver for endless hours almost every day, documenting the ever changing landscape decorated by graffiti and street artists, and eventually becoming one of the most active artists on the scene. The walls around me were being constantly transformed by my fellow citizens, but I didn't even see it. That is, until I opened my eyes. And then it was everywhere, these same city streets were not the same at all. Day by day, they were changing. Weeds were growing up the side of a fence, and a wooden wall had new markings and posters every day, until it burned to the ground. This transformation intrigued me, and my camera became as vital of a tool to capture these brief moments in time, as my pens and markers were. In fact, I haven't picked up a marker in months, I am constantly drawn to more and more of these desolate abandoned locations, to capture moments. Today, at this old abandoned art school, I can't help but notice this process of transformation at work. It is seemingly a much more fragile environment than are the city streets, secluded and open to the violent and unforgiving forces of both man and nature. The photographs taken on this day tell a very different story than the photos that have come before them, and surely a different story than the photos that will follow.
The art of decay
I finally went to art school
The rule of three
CLEAN AS YOU GO
Art school dropouts
Brush it off
Class is dismissed.
*EDIT* February 29, 2012
I just received a message from a representative in the Marketing Department at Fleming College's Haliburton School of the Arts Campus. She shared her appreciation for the photos and added that they were "heartbreaking for many of the people at HSTA who worked in that building for many, many years." She also requested that I reiterate that this is not the building that future students would be attending, as there is an excellent new HSTA campus in Haliburton.
click here to check out all of jerm & ninja IX's ABANDONMENT ISSUES