It’s a sad story, but I felt it was important to share. These photos are of an abandoned estate in France. In the 1980s, the family living here suffered a horrific car accident that killed everyone except the mother. Her husband and two young children were lost in the accident.
Mother’s grief was unbearable and she lived alone for years in this big house. She used the walls and wrote ideas and poems all over the house. One such line in French reads… “Here, I don’t feel lonely: who knows? Maybe I’m not really lonely.” As his mental state deteriorated, he was institutionalized, where he died. Today everything is like a family living there.
This particular house is popular among urban explorers in France. It has been like this for a long time. I was shown this place by a French explorer who is also a friend of mine. Usually, I find abandoned houses by driving around certain areas or using Google Maps.
The dining room, covered in thoughts and poems
The woman who survived the accident spent several years in a large estate with declining mental health before she was institutionalized and died. The walls of the house are covered with poems and thoughts she painted to cope with her loss. In this picture, if you look closely enough, you can read some of these verses.
Back wall in blue at left (mostly his own words): “Here, I don’t feel lonely: who knows? Maybe I’m not really lonely.”
Back wall centerpiece in green: “For pleasant vacations, I prefer my familiar backyard… (with or without sunscreen). It’s a matter of personality, as La Bruyere would say. are
Upper left wall: “On the walls to be repainted; On the sunlit trees; On my 50 years I write thy name.” – Lafferty
In green behind the green chair: “God help those who rise early.”
The red writing says: “You have to believe, of course, believe in yourself” – Francois Giroud.
One bedroom upstairs
An abandoned bedroom inside the house. I believe it was the children’s bedroom.
One bedroom upstairs
I learned the tragic story of this house from a person who showed me the house. I’m sure it was in the news when it happened. It was exciting and quite sad to photograph, especially seeing the children’s belongings and their photos.
Dining room walls.
Secret bed behind dining room walls
I love that each picture can tell a story on its own, but a series of pictures is really like reading a book. I love mystery and I enjoy making others wonder what is in a particular photo. If they are thinking about an image, hopefully they will remember it in the future.
A woman’s bedroom
What is left in the bedroom of a woman who lost her entire family in a car accident?
Except for objects
A woman’s bathroom
Inside a bedroom
A dresser top
An old photo
of the kitchen
Pots on the wall
Abandoned spaces as well as models from fashion editorials were the first things I started photographing. Especially photographing models in abandoned places. I still prefer to photograph people rather than buildings.
I am currently working on a photography book of abandoned places across Europe following the success of American Decay. So there are many more abandoned places with many different stories behind them. I look forward to sharing them too!
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