Every year since 2010 I visited a friend’s home in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania and photographed the gardens, the house, and the interior. Sometimes I photographed the extensive flower and plant collection; relishing the rich colors and diversity of form. But I was always drawn to the house and the surrounding yard and outbuildings. It was here the drama of priority was played out before my camera lens. Clearly energy and resources were spent on the rare plants and shrubs. But just as obvious was the evidence of neglected maintenance and order. The bamboo and vines planted to decorate home and yard have not been tended, and now threaten to engulf the house. Inside, against a kitchen window, an icon of Jesus stands as if a protection from the threat outside. The home, despite the appearance of disregard, becomes a sanctuary.
These photographs are about priorities and what we give up to meet them. They are about genius and what is deemed important. They are, in the end, a testimony to how we spend our time and resources. While there may be decay and chaos, there is still inherent beauty and interest in what is left behind. To some, the home may be a chance to showcase possession and pride, but to others it is simply a place to rest and nurture relationships.?
The images were taken using a home-made lens attachment constructed from a salvaged, plastic view-finder camera. This distorts the image and allows for selective focus, while boxing the composition with a black frame.