It's almost Halloween, and this photo essay is inspired by my love of Southern Gothic atmosphere. Most of these images were taken in Eureka Springs, Arkansas on the grounds of the Crescent Hotel. The gardens are serene, peaceful - and filled with gothic-revival iconography and statues of the saints. The Stations of the Cross are rendered in extreme detail here. The amount of care shown to the carvings is nearly equal to the high gothic churches of the Renaissance. (Check out the statue of Simon of Cyrene. The pathos on Christ's face, the sympathy in Simon's, and the anger of the Roman soldier. It's moving and disturbing at the same time.)
On the day that I photographed these images, it was actually bright and sunny, but I used CameraBag filters to evoke the shadowy and secretive feel of a Southern noir movie. I love controlled decay - the way that mildew slowly encrouches upon marble and brick, leaving its loamy patina. The slightly musty odor of wood as it ages. Chipped plaster and exposed lathe. It's a feast for my senses.
This is my little homage to Faulkner and Capote, New Orleans, Savannah, and every other town South of the Mason Dixon Line - where beauty and death are not mutually exclusive, and the slow tick of time is embraced instead of whitewashed.