I first became acquainted with Walter Arnold‘s photography after a friend saw his work at the iconic Woolworth Walk in downtown Asheville, North Carolina. A Florida native, Arnold eventually made his home in the mountains of North Carolina. The local natural beauty surrounding his new home inspired Arnold to pick up camera and learn photography. One day, he stumbled across an airplane graveyard and discovered a passion for abandonment photography — the art of photographing places and things that have been left behind.
Arnold’s series The Art of Abandoment has taken him to a host of dream-like places, from empty and decaying castles to haunted looking asylums. He has a gift for capturing the unusual light of these forgotten places. His photographs allow us to glimpse the beauty that used to exist in many places. They invoke a kind of stillness and leave viewers wanting to know more about why these places were abandoned.
What I love about these photos is that they show the complete opposite of what we design and curate. These are places that are no longer cared for. In spite of the decay and ruin, you can still see the architecture, what once was there, and find inspiration in the beauty of desolation.
Arnold’s photos are available as metal prints, meaning the images are actually infused into the surface of a sheet of aluminum before being treated with a high gloss finish. The resulting print is astonishingly vibrant, lending a light to the abandonment photos that must be seen to be fully appreciated.