On route to the factory.

Torpedo factory 2010

If you managed to decipher my Croatian clipping from yesterday you will have realised that I am to do an exhibition/workshop/lecture in Rijeka (Croatia) next month. I had gone out to the birth place of the Torpedo in order to take exhibition prints for the wonderful museum there and also to scout for locations and of course, to make some pictures.
I knew nothing about my destination Rijeka before hand and so had taken to the internet to unlock its secrets. I soon found a city full of surprises built on large industry, some of which like the ship yard or 'The Old Paper Mill' being the biggest in the world during their hay day. But I was most interested in the long abandoned Torpedo factory (of course) and wondered if I could get inside....
And so together with my team of Croats (Sabina, Ivo and Big Kruno the sculptor), we headed for the factory located on the shores of Rijeka.
The once Torpedo Factory is enormous and the grounds are now a popular destination for the locals who sunbathe by the rocky shore. Although I had pretty much been given access to most of Rijeka (as all the images will be placed in the museum collection). The factory was still in litigation from a recent new buyer so I am not even sure if I should of been inside, but as there was as there was no one around to ask, that's right, I was in like a cat and quite as a mouse while my team waited for me outside. Actually they had to take Ivo to the hospital who had jammed his finger in a door and had a funny turn..
Few words can describe what I felt upon entering this giant chamber which up to some thirty years ago had been producing shiny large phallic objects. It was like entering that Chocolate Room in Willy Wonka for the first time with warm evening light shinning through the dirty glass roof and bouncing off the emerald green walls. Evidence of a bygone age filled this massive space with mechanical machinery, big chains, and a fascinating amount of random chairs. As the light was fading I had to work quickly and moved through the factory floor like a some kind of hunter armed with a large panoramic camera. The further I entered the factory, the better things seemed to look and it was soon evident that I didn't really bring enough film, but in a way I was glad as it stopped me from shooting way too much. I sat down on a rusty old barrel, reached for a protein bar, and planned my photographic attack knowing that the opportunity, and indeed the factory itself, may not present itself in this way ever again.
And so I spent the next hour ducking, diving, climbing, and even managed a few Rocky pull ups on an old rusty pole before making what I hope will be a wonderful series.

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