The Image: Daniel Shea, "Old Coal Supports"

A received vague directions from a guy I met in Racine, Ohio about "weird, creepy things on the side of the road." He knew they were relics of a past coal-mining operation, back before the local industry's focus was on power plants and almost exclusively underground coal extraction. This was an important visual piece of the narrative I was interested in creating, and I had nothing to show for it. By the time I found the towering monuments to industry foregone, the sun was setting and everything was blanketed in golden, nostalgia-inducing light. I could not have found a better thing to look at, wander around, and ultimately photograph. I went back a year later, to make another picture, this time in early morning fog. The idea of these structures rising above the mist, a gesture that undermines their obsoleteness but promotes their abject monumentality seemed to be the right move.

Daniel Shea