CHRISTINA BRAY
I make paintings and photographs of abandoned historic buildings. 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 take pictures. Since then, I have remained intrigued by the ways in which buildings that were once significant commercial, educational, or medical centers in and around Atlanta have been transformed by decay and neglect, and have then become perhaps even more compelling because of the transformation.

In addition to my fascination with the physical deterioration of the buildings, I am also drawn to sites that have endured 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 most recent work is a series of paintings and photographs of defunct industrial buildings and other sites in Atlanta that have been repurposed by graffiti writers.