A photo project started 20 years ago, after venturing off the beaten track in American, has proved to be a fascinating insight to the lives of those immigrants chasing the ‘American Dream’ in the early 1900’s.
With published work on their subject, Eva and her husband, have photographed the long abandoned properties and vehicles, that many next generation Europeans left behind when it became impossible to support growing families in such barren landscapes, and isolated communities.
After being disillusioned with following the same old tourist route in America and queuing up to take the same photograph as everyone else, Eva and Tony decided to literally take their own path, into the lesser known areas.
When stopping to photograph the houses, schools and churches, they became intrigued to find the abandoned vehicles, all preserved by the dry climate. Being mindful of rattle snakes and other creatures, they have explored (and photographed) many of the empty properties, still with toys strewn around, calendars on the walls, furniture in the rooms and curtains at the windows. The images we saw show a snapshot of the time, and the landscape shows why the next generation would not scratch out a living as their parents had done, a lonely existence and at the mercy of the weather.
Choosing to photograph the whole scene and then portions of the properties and parts of vehicles we saw a range of images during the evening, a lesson in composition and light in itself.
Eva recommends everyone to do a photographic ‘project’, but not that it needs to take 20 years!