Abandoned House – Rocky Mount, NC
Abandoned House – Rocky Mount, NC, 2017
Digital transparency, glass, basswood
34 x 23 x 12 inches
Ruane Center for the Humanities, Back Stairwell
About the Work
Artist Frank Poor’s interest in architecture, specifically in the changing Southern landscape, began when his small hometown of Woodstock, Georgia, experienced a boom in the 1970s and 80s. Much of the architecture residents viewed as meaningful, both personally and culturally, was torn down and replaced with contemporary buildings. The rural built environment that had grown organically to reflect local needs was transformed by homogenous structures that bore no relationship to place. Small towns and cities across the United States tell similar tales.
Now based in Rhode Island, Poor travels up and down the East coast, documenting abandoned structures, overgrown and in the process of being reclaimed by nature. He notes that the “photographs are bits of evidence,” artifacts that show partial narratives of how special, perhaps even sacred, these homes once were to people. To add more dimension, he prints his original photographs on Plexiglas and uses them in combination with wood to create scale models, like this trio of abandoned houses in the Carolinas. The resulting sculptures, with light streaming through stained glass-like walls, portray nature and architecture as intertwining representations of life, memory, and transformation.