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Enclave of empty chairs in one of the abandoned day rooms at West Park Asylum.

Featured in ‘The Beginners Corner’, August 2010.

Top Ten in the ‘Hosting Tutorial Class’ group’s Challenge ‘Fancy Photos of Furniture’, August 2010.

Winner of the ‘Bits and Pieces From The Past’ Challenge in the ‘Abandoned Civilization’ group, September 2010.

Featured in ‘Abandoned Civilization’, August 2010.

Featured in ‘Everything Ends’, September 2010.

Top Ten in ‘The Woman Photographer’ Challenge ‘Wear and Tear’, November 2010.

Winner of the ‘Artistic Decay’ Challenge in ‘The Art of Peeling Paint’ group, January 2011.

Featured in ‘Mysteries of the Past’, January 2011.

588 Views, 22nd January 2011.


A photograph is a trace of its subject. The viewer and the image belong to each other. Capturing these traces is a passion, an obsession for me. I hope the thrill comes through in my images.

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  • Valerie Rosen
    Valerie Rosenover 4 years ago

    this is a remarkable series!! love the subtle use of color here. :-) val

  • rayc
    raycover 4 years ago

    having schizophernia, as i do…these images are hauntingly conjuring up ‘what could have been’ if i had been born in the past…but thats not to say i don’t like them, because i do like them…very much…

  • It is indeed sad to think of the predicament of some of those who found themselves in places like this at the turn of the century (and later). Mental health has progressed greatly though there is still a long way to go. Having spoken to my mother (a GP) and my brother (a clinical psychologist), just as an example, many people with underactive thyroids were mistakenly placed in institutions like these. So many people were committed to places like these to keep them segregated from society at large. There is much controversy over whether West Park in particular took in a number of women (c.50) who were simply typhoid carriers, to avoid its spread, many of whom never left. I have also taken a series of images in Harperbury where children were institutionalised, and working with Special Needs children as I do now with Autism, Downs Syndrome etc it deeply saddens me to think they were sent to ‘colonies’ in the past to be kept apart from society.
    Thanks greatly to you and to all for your interest in my images. Jo.

    – Josephine Pugh

  • aartwaven
    aartwavenover 4 years ago

    great work plus your commentary makes you really stop and think. Even now, I wonder what became of some of the people I spent time with.

  • JodieT
    JodieTover 4 years ago

    This is a very powerful image. To me it is a representation of the inner torment and struggle for those unfortunate enough to have endured being institutionalised. Congrats on this series of images. How come you were allowed access if you don’t mind me asking?

  • Thanks mightily for your interest Jodie. Let’s just say that access isn’t strictly spealking allowed…!

    – Josephine Pugh

  • adrianazag
    adrianazagover 4 years ago

    I love this !!!

  • MIchelle Thompson
    MIchelle Thompsonover 4 years ago

    This is stunning. And so sad.

  • Theodore Kemp
    Theodore Kempover 4 years ago

    so sad all the people that suffere mental illnesses….and when are taken away…there are forgotten just like this place…good shot !

  • Tania Palermo
    Tania Palermoover 4 years ago

    The image is haunting and uncomfortable…and sad…and yet also beautiful in its colors and its depth and its conversation…this is powerful work.

  • ShellyKay
    ShellyKayover 4 years ago

    wow. This is definitely melancholy. You nailed it!!!

  • madworld
    madworldover 4 years ago

    This is a wonderfully sad image, sad too, but unfortunately part of our lives that shouldnt be forgotten, nice work

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