'The abandoned mill has been an eyesore and magnet for vandals.'
When starting to piece together this feature, I started with a quick google search of the shoot's location, The Harford Mill in Oldham, located approximately six miles orth of Manchester. The first news story that popped up, was the Oldham Chronicle piece that I quoted above. I am sure newspaper the writer may have wanted readers to concentrate on the words eyesore or vandals, but it was the word abandoned that really struck me.
One of the reasons building and locations become eyesores is because humans stop caring. When Government and/or business, fail to financially support their upkeep, they become unsafe and uninhabitable and then eventually abandoned. Some of my favorite pieces on FH involved artists and models who breath life into long forgotten and abandoned spaces. Spaces that once were filled with love, laughter and life. Space that provided a livelihood for thousands of people over the years, and memories, both good and painful for those who passed through.
There is something almost spiritual in nature about how an image can revive a long forgotten and abandoned location. This is especially true when the image is a young model, full of life and energy interacts with the space. For the brief time the model and photographer are present, the location again is given homage and respect and most of all, given a purpose briefly once again.
The last time I featured the work of JBDI Photography (Ouse Valley Viaduct) Jon shared his work with Beau at another Victorian location, the Victorian brick arches which support the main train line running between London and the South Coast in the UK. The arches however are not abandoned, thousands travel over them by train each and every day. Given the time they were built, here are still architectural similarities with lines and arches and of course the incredibly beautiful brick work. Jon shares his experience at the Mill corroborates the Chronicles description of the location.
'It’s unfortunately totally derelict, having suffered many fires and repeated vandalism over the last 20 years. It has been due for demolition for the last couple of years. It’s one of the many Victorian Mills that were so typical of the skyline in the north in England up until the 1960s - you can see what they used to look like from the famous L.S.Lowry paintings.'
Although the rotting wood, peeling paint and ravages of time are evident in Jon's shots, with Jack as the focus, there is beauty in faded colors, textures and deterioration that surrounds him. Jon and Jack shot throughout the Mills four accessible floor, all which are supported by those rusting iron pillars and a massive mill chimney that sours upward. I especially love when a model touches, feels and interacts with their location and love the images Jon created through Jack's interaction with the building and location.
'Jack is a competitive runner and was a great model to shoot. He wasn’t bothered about the challenging location which has to be accessed through broken security fences and piles of dumped rubbish. He’s got a body that is very lean and suits art nude as well as more glamorous nude shots.'
Jack has been modeling for about four years, and has been working on expanding the diversity with his portfolio. His work with Jon certainly provides a great array of strong fashion, fitness and body shots. The 22 year old Liverpool model has a great look and being a competitive runner, has a great overall physique. I specially love his his long lean legs, and, given it's the UK... his beautifully shaped arse. I also love Jack's auburn hair and his strong, piercing green eyes. I love how they contrast and highlight the colors all around him.