While working on my project Gardening For Ordnance, in addition to the recent signage posted about the warnings for Ordnance and Explosive Waste, a.k.a. ‘OEW’ in military parlance, that are in my neighborhood, I found numerous older signs that were the worst for wear. In retrospect, these signs are more dire as the surrounding area had not been swept yet by the US military for the used military bombs and rockets. Although this sign is so faded with only a few fragments of the posting still being retained, I found other signs nearby that are very faded, yet still retain enough of the printing to faintly read the warning messages.
This sign’s remnants are now very ambiguous as to its messaging intent, while I find something kinda of ominous in the manner and patterns of the twisted wire mesh that was meant to protect the signs. Likewise these signs reflect the age of when more of the OEW was present shortly after WWII and the Korean War. I also think these signs are also wonderful metaphors for our memories, indistinct and incomplete, and with age, becoming a bit chaotic. For those with anxiety, the twisted wire appears representative of the angst and tension that occurs on occasion and another potential metaphor for this neighborhood where OEW is still present.
Probably why I find this photograph a keeper, if not a lead-in image, for my book-dummy. Ambiguous, while hinting at chaos and angst, that provides sufficient room for a reader’s imagination.
Featured photograph; Gardening for Ordnance, Posting, copyright Douglas Stockdale
Developing a Creative Photo Book, a virtual (Zoom) workshop I will be leading again in conjunction with Medium Photo, September 11th, 12th, 18th, & 19th. More details at Medium Photo and where to sign up.