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Features / June 12, 2008

Angela Carlsen: Still Half-lifes

Angela Carlsen slanted, northumberland straight 2006/7

With summer road trip season now upon us, travellers may want to plot a back road course and plan for stops along the way after seeing the images in Angela Carlsen’s exhibition “Still Living: An Intimate Look Inside Abandoned Homes.” In the spring and summer of 2006 and 2007, Carlsen traversed the country roads and side routes of rural Nova Scotia to photograph the interiors of the dilapidated structures she encountered, from rural homesteads to roundhouses to churches. The results are a poignantly haunting record of lives lived and left behind. The most moving images capture the strange aura of past life in the varied objects left amongst the time-worn debris of these decaying structures—a child’s doll, a handbag, an overcoat. One wonders about these hurried exits and the possible futures that awaited the departed. All considered, Carlsen’s rich colour images poetically frame the mysterious underlying narratives of unwritten pasts and futures. (160 Montague St, Lunenberg NS)