Photographer shows 'what they left behind' - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Photographer shows 'what they left behind'


LOUISVILLE, Ky.  (WDRB Fox 41 News) -- As home foreclosures have increased in Louisville, so has the curiosity of a local photographer. Her new art exhibit documents the problem, but without showing or talking to those who lived it. Phoenix Lindsey-Hall shows "what they left behind."

Lindsey-Hall admits she committed a crime each time she visited a foreclosed home, in the name of art -- and social commentary.

"You can tell, because the curtain's on the floor, that the person thought enough to take it off the wall, that maybe they would want to take it with them when they were forced to leave their house quickly," said Lindsey-Hall.

Phoenix Lindsey-Hall pointed to her photo of a torn curtain lying on the floor of a foreclosed home on Kilmony Avenue.

She says it tells a story about the people who lived there, and asks you to look closer.

"When you come up close you can see there are flies, and a lot of dead flies, in the background. And you can tell that it's just been abandoned. Everyone can identify with that, right, because most people have curtains," said Lindsey-Hall.

Lindsey-Hall says her pictures of an ashtray, a child's toy truck, an empty bedroom and a packed refrigerator tell a story that could come from your neighborhood. It's what people left behind that tells the story of those people. They're symbols of still-growing foreclosures in Louisville, an estimated 4- to 5,000 this year.

"What I found was that people were not living beyond their means, which is the stereotype of people that have been foreclosed upon, But rather, people couldn't keep it together anymore," said Lindsey-Hall.

She took the photos in the last year, generally from homes foreclosed between the Watterson Expressway and the Snyder Freeway. They were empty, seemingly abandoned.

So how did Lindsey-Hall get inside?

"I learned how to use a crowbar and to kind of be a little sneaky in getting in," Lindsey-Hall said. "There was no way to just get permission."

She broke-in, usually on a Saturday morning.

"I was always so respectful. I never broke a window, I never left damage. In places where I was able to jimmy the door, that's where I got in," said LIndsey-Hall.

She said it was the right thing to do, in terms of her art.

"I think you have to take risks when you're making art, and that is the only way the images would have been made," said Lindsey-Hall.

She says her mom asked if police have come to her house yet. They haven't. There was no word Friday night if they're interested.

The exhibit is on display this month at the Tim Faulkner Gallery, 632 East Market Street, Louisville.

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