Wanting simplicity in my inspiration today I found the amazingly lovely, beautiful, and simple series The mistake by the lake by photographer Chris Mottalini.
The Mistake By The Lake, is a photographic project documenting the assorted, hodge podge of school bus stop shelters, built mostly by parents, scattered throughout the Buffalo, New York landscape.
Though these fascinating examples of amateur architecture are created for a specific need, over time that need diminishes and that structure becomes part of their surroundings. These shelters remain as strange, repetitive, reminders of past necessities. These structures are representative of the universal impulse of care, which undercuts the narrative of neglect and abandonment that the mention of Buffalo usually invokes. The heart of the work for me is capturing the material products of human concern and emotion that have, in many cases, fallen into disuse.
I find not only the apparent love and nurture of the parent whom built these buildings powerful but also the apparent love and caring Chris himself has for the oddity and charm of his hometown, Buffalo. Looking through all 40 pictures is quite a powerful experience
I also find his project After you left, they took it apart, very haunting and beautiful.
I find an overwhelming amount of compassion and humanity in Chris' work, which surprise me considering most of his images are quite simple and somewhat stark in composition. But his intentions behind each project shows though with each image and when you take the time to look through the entirety of each series - his intention just becomes more and more beautiful and apparent. I look forward to whatever he does next.