Rory

Nester

MA Ceramics

Growing up in the Antelope Valley, I watched homes and businesses change from inhabited and open to abandoned and closed. My photographs function as an archive to preserve the memory of these buildings and the histories they represent. Palmdale city officials declare, “The Antelope Valley is thriving with opportunities,” but limited job opportunities and lack of community support affirm otherwise. Scattered throughout the vast landscape are deserted homes and businesses, money pits and projects neglected by the community. Commercial buildings seem to change occupancy every few months and neighbors come and go from increasingly derelict homes. New buildings and city projects alter the landscape only to be rejected before their completion. Schools and recreational destinations have diminished.

I used to explore recreational lands – now closed to the public or under ceaseless renovations – and fish the waters – now dried to ponds, or playas, and dry lake beds. Campgrounds have closed, their decaying residue left on the roadside. I have lived among and within these buildings and landscapes most of my life, witnessing the changes firsthand and photographing them over time. I document these buildings using B&W film with both large and medium format cameras as well as sketching and writing in a sketch book. These processes allows me to put more time into my photographs  and drawings into these places that were once someone’s home or business and to focus on the space in which these subjects are located, seeking to give each image the respect it deserves.

Xanax & Pill Bottle sculpture

Xanax & Pill Bottle, 2020

Ceramic, 1.25” x 6.25” x 5”

Clay Handcuffs sculpture

Claycuffs, 2020

Ceramics, 6.5” x 7” x 0.5”

white ouija broken in half

Broken Awoken, 2020

Ceramic, 3.5” x 2.5” x 0.5” & 10” x 14” x 0.5”