Omnimous: Ian Hazeldine (feature)

Antonymes

With the release of the Omnimous album ‘Always Not There’ just over a week away, we thought we’d have a chat with Ian Hazeldine who provided the stunning photography for the release. Always Not There is out as a digital release on Irregular Crates on 15th April 2014. In the meantime, click play on the Soundcloud player below to hear a preview whilst you read a little about Ian’s photography. At the bottom of the page we have embedded a slideshow of all 12 images

IC: There are rather a lot of photos of various abandoned buildings on your Flickr site – when did you first start taking these images?
IH: Abandoned buildings have been a fascination for me since I was I child. I grew up in a rural village in Wales, with two abandoned manor houses, One of which was 50 yards from my home. We used to play in the grounds and nervously walt around  the house, with it’s grand staircase and tramps sleeping in the stables. Frightening and exciting at the same time. I’d photographed a couple of abandoned farms locally, but my first proper abandoned building was August 2013, an old asylum in North Wales. I became completely hooked on the experience after that.
IC: How do you discover these places?
IH: Some of the sites I visited early on were well known, and turned out to be relatively easy to find. Since then I’ve become far more interested in discovering new places. This involves a combination of research, map reading, exploration of local records and sometimes just driving around an area. Sometimes an accidental find occurs. There are more abandoned buildings out there than people think.
IC: Do you visit the sites alone?
IH: I’ve visited a few sites alone, but find it a little unnerving. It’s good to have someone with you that you can trust, in case you get into a spot of bother. I’ve made some good friends exploring, and that often makes for a great day out.
IC: How do you access the sites?
IH: If there isn’t an open door or window I don’t access a site. Breaking and entering is a criminal offence, and I’d rather stay on the right side of the law. Also, I’m not one for heights, so it’s downstairs access or nothing for me!
IC: Have you ever had any awkward situations – people visiting, people already there etc?
IH: My first asylum exploration was pretty awkward. I’d gone with a friend and we’d only been in the building a short while and we heard a lot of banging and voices. We hid for a while and could hear things being moved around downstairs in the building. Eventually I poked my head around a door and saw a bunch of photographers moving stuff around to set up a shot. Quite a relief. I’ve been escorted off premises by angry farmers and local thugs, but never been injured or harmed. I’m careful to check for rotting floors/ceilings before I ever get my camera out. If it’s not safe, I don’t go in.
IC: Are there any plans for Antonymes material any time soon?
IH: There are always plans for new Antonymes material. I’m slowly working away on an album for the Australian label, Hidden Shoal. I’d originally scheduled the release for September 2012, but it’s taken far longer than anticipated. I’m never in a hurry to release things, and like them to unfold in their own time. I’m working with Sardinian composer Stefano Guzzetti on this release. He’s doing the final mixes on the completed tracks and helping me finish the remaining material. It’s very different to last year’s There can Be No True Beauty Without Decay. It’s got a much grander, orchestral sound to it. I can’t wait for people to hear it.
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