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The outcome of my final project is a response to a combination of an accumulation of my own interests, and in depth research I have undertaken over the previous two years. Throughout this time the common theme in my research has been place, or more precisely how we as individuals perceive place and space. My work has always been research led as opposed to being practice led. My aim has been to respond to ideas and themes through my photographic practice. 

Therefore, before challenging notions of place with my work, it was necessary to engage with the thoughts of others who have defined space and place. Merleau-Ponty in Phenomenology of Perception (2012) refers to what he describes as anthropological space (the way we as humans use space) and geometric space (the physical nature of the space). Marc Augé in Non-Places (2008) introduces the concept of Non-places through super modernity, “If a place can be defined as relational, historical and concerned with identity, then a space which cannot be defined as relational, or historical, or concerned with identity will be a non-place” (p.63). My photographs for this exhibition have been in response to this statement. I wished to challenge this statement through the use of derelict and abandoned buildings. If we are to believe Augé, these sit somewhere in between a place and a non-place. In a previous time, these buildings had all the traits of a place as described, however in their current state, I argue that they also have the traits of non-places. This is echoed by Nieszczerzewska in her essay, Derelict architecture: Aesthetics of an unaesthetic place: “Collapsing, derelict buildings always involve reflections about history, the nature of the event, the meaning of the past and the present, progress and crisis, revolution, apocalypse or dialectic process” (p.338) 

The images I have photographed for this exhibition consist of eight buildings, all of which I believe challenge the distinctions between Augé’s Places and Non-Places. Consisting of old Hotels, Pubs, Houses, and Petrol Stations, all will hold meaning and identity in relation to previous occupants and owners in previous times. These now take on new meaning for those who see them as dilapidated, and run down. The buildings although changed aesthetically through neglect, remain a constant, it is their use which has truly changed and it is this factor that I believe creates this contradiction regarding the separation between place and non-place.


  • Auge, M. (2008). Non-Places. London: Verso. 
  • Merleau-Ponty, M., & Landes, D. A. (2013;2012;). Phenomenology of perception. Routledge. 
  • NIESZCZERZEWSKA, M. (2015). Derelict architecture: Aesthetics of an unaesthetic space. Argument (Kraków. 2011), 5(2), 387-398.