In the last Peddocks Island (Peddocks 1) post I introduced the first series of photographs I made on Peddocks Island in Boston Harbor. In this one I will bring us closer to up to date and highlight the series I made in the summer of 2011 of the island. (Peddocks 2011)
I've written before about going back to favorite places to photograph and Peddocks serves as a good example of this. Who's to say that when you first go to a place to photograph it that the work you do then is the work. And wouldn't it be something if you went back and reinterpreted the place, saw it differently and worked to make a new contribution to what you did previously? And if you did this couldn't you then compare one set of pictures to the other? And wouldn't it be good if you could effectively make a statement about how art is often just that: the artist's point of view and interpretation at any one time? Exactly.
By the summer of 2011 most of the primary residential row of buildings had been torn down and the land extensively cleared around them. Funds had been allocated by the state legislature to clean up Peddocks and to make it a better tourist destination along with allowing overnight camping.
But before we go to the pictures I made in 2011 I wanted to show you what Hollywood did to Peddocks as it turned it into Shutter Island for the movie.
First, here is Peddocks as it looks from the ferry approaching the island with Hull on the right (outside the frame):
and what the movie producers made it look like as Leonoardo DiCaprio rides the ferry to the island in the beginning of the movie:
Can't you just hear the ominous soundtrack playing during this scene?
Let's be clear, this was a very bad movie of not a very good book by Dennis Lehane.
Kurt Vonnegut had this wonderful turn of phrase in writing about the bombing of Dresden during World War II in Slaughterhouse Five: "so it goes".
So it goes.
At any rate, onwards and back to earth to look at what was there when I went in 2011. This time I didn't kayak across the gut at Hull to get to the island. I took the ferry from Hingham.
This is what I found the afternoon of August 14, 2011(along with swarms of mosquitos):
empty plots where the buildings had once stood.
along with a few familiar landmarks left behind:
and 2005:It is difficult for me to describe how I felt when there that day and I don't want to sound melodramatic but this was partly tragic for me and partly a revelation. The tragedy was to realize these buildings were now gone:
This no longer exists:
nor this:But the revelation redeemed the sense of loss that day in August 2011 and turned a day that seemed like the death of loved ones into new birth (how's that for melodrama?).
While I have a fairly long story to tell here, I don't want you to stop in mid-read or have you leave this drama as it unfolds so I will stop here until we pick up the Peddocks saga in Peddock 3.
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Next up Peddocks Island 3. Stay tuned.