Sunday, 17 July 2011

Architecture and Immorality: Architexture

Well, you won't find any immorality here (not unless you are of the opinion that nudity is immoral - which I am not). The title was chosen by Jeremy Howitt, (a homage to an eighties album, as I understand it) with whom I recently spent a couple of days shooting around some locations local to me. Some of these spots I have shot in several times before, and others were completely new to me. Despite numerous interruptions (including a marathon running through one of the locations we were intending to use, and a number of groups of bored teenagers) we spent a very productive two days making the most of the beautiful Derbyshire countryside and ruins, capturing the contrast in texture and architecture between the various locations. (If I could coin a new phrase to summarise this series, I'd call it 'architexture,' as I think it captures the various different textures that compliment the settings). I'm really pleased with this selection of images, which show quite a variety, and I really enjoyed shooting with Jeremy. This is a small selection from the many photos we created.
We shot in several locations, including:

Abandoned Stately Home
I love the fallen grandeur of this location, only about five miles from my home, which was once designed to be a symbol of wealth and decadence. The building is a victim of greed, as it fell into the ownership of a group of wealthy businessmen in the 1920s, who chose to expand their wealth by selling off the most valuable assets of the property - including the roof. This led to the downfall of a once spectacular estate, and within a few short years, centuries of grandeur lay in ruins. The structure of this building remains in tact, though it has been stripped of ornamental splendour. It's a superb location to shoot in (though I wish the staircase remained in tact).

Peak District Countryside

Ruined Church
(Also the first image at the top of this page)

There's always something evocative about a ruined church, conjuring up images of a forgotten past; centuries of congregations, gathering together to celebrate joyous occasions, and commiserate mournful losses. Hundreds of footsteps that once echoed within hushed and pious stone walls, are now laid to rest beneath weathered headstones, within the walls of the quiet cemetery beyond the crumbling remains of what had been the hub of village activity, now at the mercy of the weather. (Please forgive the soliloquy, although this church does have literary links to both Byron and DH Lawrence, so perhaps it brings out the poet in me).

The most remarkable feature of this decaying church, is that despite being open to the elements from all angles, the main door remains on its hinges, steadfast in spite of years of disuse. The door is set in a stone archway, and though the ornate lead-work that once adorned the door is long gone, the imprints remain, and the structure remains solid and proud.

On arrival, the door was wide open, propped by a chunk of stone that had once formed part of the church walls. It stood open on its hinges, as if welcoming generations of churchgoers who had long since ceased to attend. As I stood against the open door, leaning my back against the warm woodwork as the sun fell on my skin, the aged wood emitted a powerful and evocative smell, which I adore. There are very few scents that I find so pungent and sensual as the aroma of timber. I love the smell of freshly hewn wood; the autumnal waft of wood burning on the breeze; the charcoal tinged smell of burnt ashes; or the texture and scent of ancient, worn wood. This old door has no doubt outlived its creators and lives and breathes to this day, by some miracle free of graffiti and still firm on its hinges, welcoming scarce visitors to what is now an exposed and pitiful church, where it once offered security, shelter and warmth within. The scent of the oak, warmed by the sun, seemed to emit imagined memories, as I enjoyed the smooth texture of the age-old door and the worn iron handle, breathing in a hint of the past.

We closed the door and shot against it from the outside of the church, and I wondered how many times it had been shut in the past, holding true for all those years, and protecting the treasures within. When we left, we propped it open again, leaving it as we found it. I could have revelled in the scent of that door for hours. Though its purpose is now redundant, I hope it remains firm on its hinges for many years to come.

Derelict Farm House
I love the texture of the stark brick wall here, in contrast with the skin tones and the shimmery material of this skirt.

Images by and copyright of Jeremy Howitt.


  1. It was a pleasure working with you Ros. And I should add that I don't find nudity immoral either, but in trying to conjure a title my mind was drawn to a tenuous play on words inspired by my love of 80s synth pop - mea culpa!

  2. I did read the origins of your title, Jeremy. I rather liked it in its own right. I'll have to check out the CD! :-)

  3. Very beautiful! Kudos to both. dont forget the feature...

  4. Really like this work. Not only is the visual imagery excellent but your descriptive interpretation was colorful & captivating. The impact on your senses & the thoughts/feelings it evoked lend this image more depth & richness to the observer.

    I could almost smell the wood & feel the textures. Not only are you a most talented & beautiful model but your eloquence with words deserves recognition as well. Thank you for sharing this experience with all your senses & for making me think/feel about this series in a multifaceted way.

    My favorite has to be the one with you echoing the frame of the window you are standing beneath (4th row up from the bottom). I do find all of your poses elegant & powerful. It would be an absolute pleasure to work with you in this or any setting.

    Thank-you so much for sharing.

  5. excellent images, every one of them

  6. Well Hello Erosanne, Ero!? They are wonderfull. Never seen such a lot of Pics from a woman in Pregnancy! They are well pictured! And as a Dad it is lovely to see the Belly grow, and the Belly Button. BUt even, is you are with Child, Woman are still attracktive and very sexual! You are amazing to make a shoot out of it! Please Publish a Book, Pics from Woman who are Pregnant! I am sure every Woman, upcoming Dad and Family would love them. Congratulations with your upcoming Mothership, haha, love to say that! Being a Mother and Dad is a full job!
    Certainly Girls who are Single Mums in Time! So, enjoy the love of being Pregnant and cherish your Baby! It is a gift! Surely a very fine, warm Gift! xo, Alexander <3