Create Your Own Adventure
I sit awkwardly perched at my breakfast bar, cradling the last drops of coffee, pupils dilated to attention as my good friends discuss preparations for today's exploration. We're showered, dressed and eager to explore the abandoned Lunatic asylum in Hartwood. After a good hour of trawling through blogs and forums weíve discovered our route. I definitely mourn the days of careless adventures without the aid of a route precisely planned on our GPS mobiles. Technology seems to stunt our sense of excitement. We throw together an assortment of food and juice and head off to catch the train from central station.
At 11am the remnants of the morning rush linger and litter the train: coffee cups and pre-made sandwich packages stuffed in any available crevice. The four of us sit together, casually bantering over a packet of sweets and staring out the dirty windows to the immaculate green sweeps of the countryside.
As we step out onto the platform, the train screeches into the distance leaving us stranded in unfamiliar surroundings. From memory of the maps viewed at home, I point in the direction of where we have to go. Once out of Shotts and into the fields surrounding, we follow the train tracks in an ode to 'Stand By Me.'
Several barbed wire fences, marshes and woodlands later, we make it into Hartwood. Spirits still high, I stand taking in the beautiful landscape, documenting every moment with my camera. We walk through the centre of the village, past a suburban area and hop a fence into the contrast of a muddy field by the main road to the Asylum. As we walk, the beautiful Victorian building begins to dominate the landscape. Very Belle Öpoque. With our jaws dragging on the ground we start to pick up pace.
Knowledge that there are no boundaries between us and the tragic masterpiece of the building sparks a feeling of adventure, both fun and nostalgic. My fingers restlessly attack my camera's settings. I hold my breath, steady each frame and let the click of the camera fill the eerie atmosphere as I scope for new perspectives.
Searching for a way into the main building, we discover a doorway. Its crooked, eroding structure allows us to squeeze through. Unsure what to expect, we find ourselves walking on the roof: the entire centre of the building has collapsed due to a fire. The shades of rust and grey blend with charcoaled wood, an ideal souvenir. We appraoch two glass doors, barely holding onto their delicate frames and we pass through, they reveal a beautiful large hallway.
Directly opposite in shades of purple and grey is a Paisley-patterned wall, unharmed by the fire. As my feet crunch across scattered glass and metal, my eyes widen as I see an old cash register, the bodywork charred and broken screams out to be photographed. The entanglement of old mechanics lay abandoned within, analogue numbers melted like a tribute to Dali.
Moving on, our steps lead to dark spiral staircase that ascends four flights. As we reach the summit we feel liberated and free with an extreme combination of fear, awe, inspiration and shock. This is the rush, the reason why I don't restrict my existance to four walls.
Exploration can often be very challenging but extremely beneficial. The overwhelming amount of ideas that flood your thoughts and drown out the negativity which can prevent creativity is fantastic. I have a strong belief in never wasting time. In the past when inspiration is far gone, and I hadnít painted or drawn in months, sitting around the house was in no way helpful. I now embark on many day trips like todayís in order to exercise my creativity.
I hope anyone who is suffering from lack of inspiration will discover their own way of reopening their mind. This is my way. Give it a shot, go on, create your own adventure!