Traffic Islands (2005)

Situated between the on-ramps and overpasses of major highways exist small parcels of forgotten land. Cut off from human access by fences and car-filled bodies of pavement, few people ever set foot on these negative spaces of the road, yet thousands pass by on their daily commute. These constructed environments with their minimal landscaping -- consisting only of a few scattered trees laid out in geometric formations -- through neglect revert to a more “natural” state where native vegetation and small wildlife thrive. These lands were not always this way and in places evidence of their past and of old communities engulfed by road construction still exist. On one, an ancient graveyard withstanding the flow of traffic is all that remains of the town of Richview.

Night never comes to these regions as high-powered sodium-vapour lamps take on the role of minor suns illuminating the ground against a darkened sky. Thus they exist in a liminal state between night and day; constructed and natural; urban and rural; occupied and deserted; past and present. But, it is their very existence in such an in-between, hybrid state that calls into question the validity of such prescribed, binary states of being and makes one wonder about the validity of such states in the first place.

Dave Kemp, 2005