If you know me well, you will know I love abandoned places, I love urban exploration and I love photography of anything linked with either. That is why I was really excited when I stumbled across some small images by photographer Rebecca Crosbie in Wow Kent magazine. I had to find out more so got in touch with Rebecca and asked her some questions to find out why this subject also appealed to her, as well as finding out more about her creative background…
Hi Rebecca, tell us more about your creative background and how you got into photography…
I have grown up in a creative environment from a very young age, with a father who specialises is scale drawing and design and a mother who started as a dress-maker and upholster and now practices as a potter and porcelain jewellery maker. My mother was always a keen photographer and from a young age I became interested in photographing my surroundings. Having grown up on a farm I became an avid explorer recording my every discovery.
Throughout my school life my interests seemed to revolve around fine art and resistant materials, and in my spare time I was fascinated by philosophy, Foucault in particular. I went to Kent Institute of Art and Design, Maidstone (now UCCA) for six years, studying a Foundation in Art and Design, NCFE Creative Craft and then followed on to complete a BA Hons Photography and Media Arts and was awarded a scholarship for MA Artists’ Film, Video and Photography which I completed in January 2011.
What other career paths have you taken?
Despite the fact I am only 25 I have had many jobs. I like to keep busy and learn new things. I am particularly interested in people and have had lots of jobs working with people. On and off I work as an in house photographer for the metropolitan police and have done work for various charities, and for some time was a carer for the elderly. I then spent a year living in Belgium photographing various locations and making a living being a nanny for a new born baby. I now reside in my local 400 year old pub (Drakes Cork and Cask, Maidstone) where I live and work part time whilst writing my book (philosophy based about peoples perception of space) and collating my photographic works.
Who inspires you both locally and universally?
Much of my inspiration has come from French philosopher Gaston Bachelard in his writings ‘The Poetics of Space’ and the memorising photographic work of Francesca Woodman.
If you could explore and photograph any building what would it be? Past and present?
If I could explore anywhere it would be North Brother Island a 13 acre forgotten island on the north river in New York. The island is home to a hospital which opened in 1886 to treat contagious illnesses becoming famous in the 1900’s for being home to Typhoid Mary. The clocks were stopped on brother island in 1962 when the city pulled the plug on the island.
What is it about urban exploration and photographing abandoned places that you love?
The thing I love about urban exploration is being able to watch and record the way nature takes hold of what we have forgotten and is always more powerful than the man made structures it takes hold of. The decay of the structures I find endlessly picturesque, so many new textures are born through the weathering and neglect. I am also curious to see what it is that man has left behind and the impact they have had on the architecture over time.
What is the most unusual or bizarre things you have found whilst on a photography expedition?
Not necessarily bizarre to the location but unusual for me to find at this time of modern medicine was a straight jacket in one of the asylums I visited. To see such an object which used to be used to frequently opened a new reality to me regarding the practices which took place in the hospitals in the past.
What would you like to achieve in the future?
My aim for the future is to keep exploring and recording these places. I would like to, in the future, create a series of publications sharing the beauty of these buildings.
Can you recommend a creative website you love?
My favourite website which I love to keep up to date with is a local blog. It looks at everything from fashion, furniture and art, to food and lifestyle. http://lot316.blogspot.co.uk/
I am also very fond of the site HypeBeast
Thank you so much for telling me more about yourself Rebecca, I really look forward to seeing more of your work and will probably be investing in some of your work one day to display on my walls! If only I lived in a abandoned theme park…
You can find out more about Rebecca at www.rebeccacrosbie.com
If you to love urban exploration then the website 28 days later is a MUST.
All images belong to Rebecca Crosbie – permission must be asked for use.
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