Saturday, 23 August 2014

Abandoned Places VI: Goussainville-Vieux, a French Ghost Town

Just outside Paris in the north, under the Charles de Gaulle flight path lies the remnants of the town Goussainville-Vieux. A few months ago a friend and I went to check it out, and last week Atlas Obscura asked me to write about it for them. The article is here with some photos I took whilst there.

For more photos of this truly eerie place, see my gallery here. I took so many photos it was almost unreal! I am hoping to go back again at some point, better armed with flashlights etc so I can take more pics in the slightly darker rooms that my poor ol' camera couldn't handle last time (rookie mistake!).

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Paris Street Art: In Situ at Fort d'Aubervillers

On what turned out to be an extremely hot day (even for my Italian accomplice, it wasn't just my mainly British-conditioning) and the final day of In Situ, I went to go check it out before it was closed. And I am mighty glad we braved the heat because it was well worth a visit. 

One of the first few pieces.
The entrance gate to Fort d'Aubervillers.
This was one of my favorites, though a little unnerving with all the eyeballs, I loved the contrast of textures between the slightly rusty corrugated iron at the back and Victorian-esque angel perching among the rocks and eyes.

Ram-skull..? I am sold. I have a minor (major?) fascination with these...!

What really struck me about the exhibit was location combined with the colors. Though it felt a little like we were attending an exhibition in the desert at times (the foliage in these pictures are deceiving as most of the land was barren- owing to the concrete), the sheer brightness and power of the art in a somewhat neglected grey space was very effective. Also put me in any abandoned place that has been reclaimed by humans and I am happy...

My friend that came with me also commented (and I agree) that more ugly warehouse type buildings ought to be spruced up like this. Like William Morris said, 'Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or beautiful', or in this case, outside..!

This one below was a tribute to the punks that occupied the space after it ceased to be of use to the military.

Several burnt out cars had also been reclaimed as an unconventional canvas, I recognized the handiwork of the one below from some art in the 13 arrondissement of Paris.

 And this one reminded me of the picture I saw in Strasbourg, I think its the same artist.

 This was one of my favorite areas, where the artists were each assigned an alcove to fill.

Gagged chicken, just 'cuz.

Catacombs anyone??

 I adored this one, with all the butterflies, it deff struck a cord- books can indeed inspire dreams.

This one below is just stunning, "Open your Eyes".


And finally, I leave you with Superman.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

First Article Published on Atlas Obscura


A few weeks ago I went to check out La REcyclerie, a re-purposed train station on la petite ceinture, now a cafe, at the request of a friend from Atlas Obscura. You can find the article here. Of course it being part of the abandoned railway, and also serving decent herbal tea/coffee/hibiscus juice and homemade food, has made it an instant fav and I WILL be dragging many more friends up there soon...