Tales From a Ghost Town

Virginia City is a ghost town—
the skeleton of a booming Montana gold mining camp in the late 19th century.
The silence of this “dead” place gives the viewer time to examine the drama of decay.
Empty rooms and broken doorways invite
speculation about the lives of people long gone,
but the decaying wood invites viewers to search out another story,
the life of a living material that grew and developed,
was cut and used by hands both skilled and unskilled,
and finally left to dry and rot.
Documenting the evidence of time through photography
I was moved to capture some of these “tales” with hand dyed fabric,
created by the ungoverned mixing of colors,
often resembles the growth patterns observed in cut and decaying wood.

I have been creating these works over the past several years
with various shades of the gray and rusty reds of decaying wood.
Recently I visited an exhibition of works by Clifford Still,
whose content and style reminded me very much of the decayed wood,
but his use of bright colors encouraged me to expand on my color choices

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