A showing here of one of the series of photographs taken at Number 351 back in the summer of 2016. At this point of my all-nighter in this old abandoned house I was sleep-deprived, but happy, searching its rooms for obedient and showy apparitions.
A few of the ‘earlies’ from my all-nighter in the old dark house, back in the summer of 2017, when I was first learning how to raise spectres from the those tired, tiled floors.
When you’re scrambling about in an old dark house trying to produce phantasmagorical effects on film using various Heath Robinson-style contraptions comprising light-sources and black elastic, not everything goes according to plan. My various hard drives are somewhat littered with ‘failures to launch’ – underwhelming photographs featuring unmagical moments. Some of these ‘off-cuts’ are not without interest and I return to them from time-to-time to see if the passing of time and a fresh pair of eyes can see what was missed the first time around. Usually, the answer is no, but occasionally I’m minded to dig one out, like today’s offering – a wheeling circle of light flashing into life for a short show of seconds in one of the large abandoned rooms of No. 351.
Another spooky little something from my one long night in the Summer of 2016, spent within the palatial environs of No. 351. I enjoy the cinema of this particular image; you can almost imagine the team of set-dressers coming in to ensure the peeling wallpaper is peeling ‘just right’. This is the stuff of movie posters, and the covers of those Fontana books of ghost stories from back-in-the-day. This is that big book of Unexplained Phenomena we had on our bookshelves when I was a kid, still playing out in my imagination.
In the old house, No. 351, there is, remarkably, and old internal chapel, with blue walls and stained glass. The whole set-up is filmic and theatrical, like something from a children’s book, in which amazing spaces reside behind rather ordinary doors. For this week’s retrospective offering, a few more images from my residency at 351, not seen or shared before.
Another glimpse into the other-worldly realm of house number 351, where I spent one long sleepless summer night in the gameful pursuit of spectral anomalies, finding this one poised perfectly in the old dark stairwell…
It took a lot of self-discipline not to entitle this 2016 photograph ‘Beam Me Up, Scotty’…
This was another of the empty rooms at No 351, the grand, sprawling house in which I locked myself for an overnight vigil in late July, 2016. I recall I was getting pretty tired by now, subsisting on packets of almonds, and the sudden surges of nervous energy bequeathed me by every unexpected noise, every ruffle of startled pigeon feathers, every creak of the building’s timbers. Still, I was quick-witted enough to go on capturing the various glowing manifestations that followed me about No 351’s chambers – including these three, standing by the hearth as if in conference, their backs to the memory of the fire.
I was drinking Red Bull and eating handfuls of almonds to sustain me through my long night alone in the sprawling impressive house in which this image was taken. At this point, I’d made it as far as the top of the house, finding myself in a richly wall-papered room blossomed with damp, the ceiling sagging above me and the floor chalky with dust. When I look at this image today, I like to think about the people in the other buildings you can see through this room’s windows. I imagine them standing by their own windows, their attention riveted to the strange other-worldly light manifesting in one of the old abandoned rooms of the old abandoned house across the way. I hope they’re still talking about it now.
Lately, there has been an outbreak of portals here at Red’s Kingdom – the sudden appearance of doorways to other realms. The same was true back in the Summer of 2016, when I was witness to some equally extraordinary sights manifesting in the forlorn empty rooms of an old sprawling house somewhere in the Medway Towns. This is but one of the many photographs taken during that long sleepless night, where wide-eyed and watchful amongst the cobwebs, peeling paint and prodigious heaps of pigeon shit, I conjured impossibilities out of the dark.