about prairie ruins

I have recently witnessed the bulldozing of the house where I raised my children. I saw it hauled to the dump and the ground levelled to the point where there is no longer evidence of it's existence. This place that was my home is now one of memories only.

 

There are many of these old structures dotting the prairie landscape, derelict buildings on the verge of collapse.  The worn and damaged faces of these structures reveal their history, the drought of the 30’s, the dismantling of the railroad lines, political policies, and corporate colonization that encouraged large scale industrial farming, forcing many to leave their dreams behind, depopulating the prairies. 

 

These spectral structures tell their stories in the creaking of the crumbling old timbers, stories that gradually fade as these places disintegrate or are demolished. The interior of these buildings reveal all that is left, a chaotic jumble of clothing and household items, human detritus, objects that were no longer needed. The buildings  and the things in and around them trigger memories that recall stories, but much is forgotten or the ones that knew the stories are long gone.

 

 My paintings of prairie ruins weave ideas of what might have been and what might be with the evidence left behind into new stories that act as a metaphor for loss, hope and continuity of life.