“Train Penny Blues”, 1999, 16mm
“An ode to discarded things, which all have the same quality of pathos for me, if it’s a book, lost jewelry, or a broken lighter…”
“In homage to the ground, and most importantly, to the ground covered by concrete… I know you’re still down there.”
The film was shot in the area between Union Station and the South Platte River in the late 90’s when it was still an abandoned field with train tracks running through. The field was part of my daily walk to work from the backside of Union Station. In the morning, I would leave pennies on the train tracks and then pick them up flattened on the walk back at the end of the day. The field was filled with wild grass and wild sunflowers, like a little piece of state park in the midst of the city. It’s all covered in concrete and office buildings now.
The cave of plastic bits, rosaries, and statuettes is one of the spontaneous shrines along Hwy 160 between Walsenburg and Alamosa… I bet it’s still there. Some things will reliably withstand the tests of time.
The butterfly and flower animation was a collaboration with Jodie Emmett who now makes jam and runs a sheep farm in New York State. She found and collected those bits and pieces of beauty on her travels.
The collection transformed into art.