A N O T H E R D O O R D A R K E N S
I’d seen the decay of this building over the course of a few months now, watching it empty, from the people to the pipes, each time i drove by it would be a little less alive. The windows went first, no signs of entry from the front, then the fencing went up around it all, the buildings coffin, wrapping it up ready for the bulldozers. The job was half done, the front facing side of the building had been taken first, rooms hanging like broken limbs, gasping for air over the brick dust. The ground was thick with it, like snow, it had fallen from the upper floors, and settled on the piles of brick, mortar, and breeze blocks which lay dormant beneath the half demolished Connexions building. It wasn’t too late, and by the time i arrived, the workers had left for the weekend, sealed the entrance with two large panels of wood, shackled together with a rusting padlock.
I’d considered climbing the fence, the flat, tall, rickety fence, i thought twice, deciding to take the “Innocently looking around while holding a bloody big camera” approach. Whoever took care of those windows, also took care of a fence panel around the back of the building, granting us an easy entrance, and an easy escape. I’d perhaps been overly cautious in my decision to wear all black, if anything, my clothing choice made me look even less innocent of any wrong doing. And now that i think about it, how would black make me any less visible at 1.30 pm on a Sunday afternoon? I just made a mental note.
The dust swirled beneath our feet, leaving it’s powdery prints on my trousers, and my shoes, it would come off easy enough, but the smell would stay in our nostrils for a day or two. brick dust. The buildings, now deformed face, gave beautiful contrast to the shoot, i love photos that have more happening in them than the viewer can usually spot upon first glance, something new every time, with so much detail in the destruction, it was hard not to stare.
Climbing into the buildings, now dormant and dark insides wasn’t too much of a task, passing a broken window, and a room filled with broken pieces of thinly cut wood, we turn right into what looks like a conservatory, a plastic ceiling, which was now opaque due to the dust, gave us the most light we would see, until we reached the other side of the building. the corridors were littered with large wooden beams, the doors for each room had been removed, and now lay, strewn across the walls of one of the larger rooms on the ground floor, tombstones in row, fire doors and all, i don’t know why i remember that. Reaching the stairs, it’s a question between us, as to wether we climb them..or call it a day. curiosity didn't kill the cat, it got the cat some awesome photos.
The second floor was laid out much the same, although there was no graveyard for ripped off doors up here, corridors that led to nothing, ripped in half, torn to the ground. Natural light, leaking through dusty blinds, holes in the walls, and the lack thereof in some of the rooms. Post-it notes scattered throughout the rooms, each stuck in place on a wall, each simply reading “Leave”, imagination being a bleak painter of pictures on the minds eye, turned my thoughts to all those horror movies i’d watched, had i learnt nothing? with the sound of dead wasps, crunching beneath cals feet, sending a shiver up my spine, we head for the stairs at the opposite end of the first floor.
Finger marks and more post-it notes, the walls of this half buried building were strewn with signs of life no longer lived here, only the thought that this building will be totally destroyed on Monday kept us in there for as long as we were. The english sun (Obscured by the english clouds of course) welcomed us as we emerged from the connexions building, and headed for the flattened fence panel.
Sad to see it go, in all it’s grotesque beauty, we rejoin the street, and wait for the next building to give up, and for the heavy wooden fences to go up again.