I have an affinity for Mare Island. I learned how to make a
photograph there. I developed a set of aesthetic values
there. I have tried to tame chaos there. It is an
industrial wilderness. I am alone with my thoughts and
wander aimlessly there. I watch osprey there.
Mare Island is a peninsula alongside the city of Vallejo,
California. For over a century, Mare Island was the U.S. Navy’s
Mare Island Shipyard (1891-1995). The shipyard reached an
employment peak of 40,000 workers during World War II. In 1988
Congress scaled back production and employment dropped to around
10,000 workers. When Congress ordered the base closure, the
shipyard employed 5,800 workers.
Even in the short time I have been frequenting Mare Island, many
changes have taken place, both good and bad. A number of
buildings have been razed or lost to fire. A 6.0 magnitude
earthquake in August 2014 did considerable damage as well. On the
other hand, many buildings are or in the process of being
renovated for commercial use (mainly office space). Industry has
continued and is still growing. There is even a small artist
community taking advantage of cheap studio space to ply their
I’m drawn to the geometry and lines of these industrial
buildings. I’m concerned with time, the effects of friction, and
the unique ‘patina’ they create. I am captivated by the flux of
what accumulates in the environment and the commingling of
organic and synthetic matter.
Ultimately, I would like my photos to allow the viewer to see the
world as it is anew.