CHRISTINA BRAY
I make paintings and photographs of abandoned buildings. Long before I had heard of “urban exploration,” I was fascinated by defunct buildings, especially those that were historically or architecturally significant. As a teenager in the 1980s, I would get my mom to drive me to her old elementary school and high school in southeast Atlanta – both of which were long-shuttered – so that I could walk around the eerily silent grounds and photograph the buildings. Even though I visited these and similar Atlanta sites multiple times, I never got tired of exploring those old buildings.

Many years later, I developed an interest in abandoned sites that had suffered some sort of traumatic history – for example, the derelict buildings of Milledgeville, Georgia’s Central State (psychiatric) Hospital. I was so struck by the hospital’s sordid history of overcrowding and neglect– not to mention the foreboding sensation I got while visiting those buildings – that I created a series of paintings to remind (or educate) viewers about what had happened there. I didn’t want the place to be forgotten.

My current work is a series of paintings and photographs of defunct industrial buildings and other sites in Atlanta that have been transformed by graffiti writers.