Saturday, July 30, 2011

American Standard

Over the past year, or more, I have been actively photographing local history industrial spaces. Most recently I was invited to join a group of photographers to shoot the interior of the now defunct American Standard factory in Hespler, Ontario. This factory has been purchased by Shawky Fahel in the hopes of converting it to a condo development targeted at the needs of our senior population.

The factory has been cleared of all the heavy equipment that was used during its manufacturing era. But what remains is a wonderful look into its history. Graffiti by long gone workers. Random bits of furniture laying awkwardly in unlikely places. Dirty bits of broken equipment. Odd bits of the forgotten past. Sometimes it can be heart wrenching seeing a twisted, broken lunch box and wondering where the owner is now.

Our group had the opportunity to spend a couple of hours here. Each of us lost in our own little world trying to discover some bit of beauty in all this decay and ugliness. Many of us have had a chance to compare our images. It has been interesting to see how differently we all see the same space. How one of us might notice a chair sitting near a wall. But another will notice that they back of that same chair against that same wall makes for an interesting contrast in textures.

More images are available on my Flickr photostream.

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