No other woman in classic literature has made as big an impact on us as the visage of Charles Dickens’ Miss Havisham. The abandoned bride from Great Expectations lost her marbles in a crumbling mansion for years, seething and plotting the destruction of all men (including our beloved Pip) via her beautiful ward, Estella. Obviously her life proved to be a tragedy unto itself, but no more so than the long-forgotten estates, buildings and historical structures she has come to signify in our minds.
As lovers of all things NOT mass produced, we have an obsessive fascination with old structures well past their heyday. Peeling paint often reveals a rich palette, found objects can hint at lost treasures, while winding steps truly are stairways to heaven. Much like a vintage find you uncover in your grandmother’s attic, we covet what others have long abandoned and aspire to not only walk through these dusty gems but photograph them with same artistic eye of those explorers who make it their business to document these modern day ruins.
Photographer and blogger Ian Ference (of The Kingston Lounge fame) is one such notable. His intriguing images of homes, theaters, hospitals and asylums are both chic and disturbing all at once. Like Alexander McQueen before him, Ference is able to transform the ugly into elegant with the click of his camera shutter. Through Ference’s vision we see the potential of what once was and could be, but are left to fill in the blanks with our own imagination.
As big fans of his work, we were excited to learn the photographer was offering up some of his prints from his recent traveling exhibition. Hauntingly beautiful and tragic all at once, Ference’s images speak of lost love, forgotten memories and moments frozen forever in time.
Click through the slideshow above to see some of our favorite snaps from Ference’s photo essays.