The Essence of Rust

Chiara-Sophia Coyle

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“I ran back to the car for my camera. There was a story here. There was mystery, there was depth if I looked long enough and hard enough. The bubbling, the peeling of the rust, the surfacing of paint and rich colors all created their own reflections; abstract images, scenes, etched in the metal. It was all still very alive despite the patina of deterioration.Chiara-Sophia Coyle

Clicks & Relativity

By Chiara-Sophia Coyle

Sophia Coyle, Weekly Hubris

OAKLAND California—(Weekly Hubris)—March 2019—Rust. It happens. Reflections. They just occur, when all the elements align. Reflections in rust? Yes, just one more form of a reflection. An echo of time imprinted on a surface. I am very familiar with rust. Having grown up on a very damp, salt- and wind-kissed island, I can assure you rust was a frequent sight and part of everyday life, one usually depicting the end of something’s life cycle. Bringing with it the requirement to replace the rusty object, no matter the size, no matter the purpose it served. Rust screamed danger for the shoeless running in the summer countryside, not so much because of the rust, itself, but rather because of the natural environment and the bacteria rampant underfoot. Simply put, there was nothing gratifying in its appearance; it only signified decay, a form of irreversible death.

It was a cold, foggy day a few years ago when I went for a long drive, aspiring to create a great nature photo shoot. I came across a pick-up truck on the side of the road, seemingly abandoned a good 30 years earlier.

I pulled over, consumed with excitement, and circled the truck repeatedly, avoiding cobwebs, sharp and dangerous edges, and wondering when some creepy creature would jump out at me and let me know in no uncertain terms that I was an uninvited guest and was not to interfere.

Completely mesmerized and shrieking (silently) with delight at the sight of numerous patterns created over time on all surfaces, I ran back to the car for my camera. There was a story here. There was mystery, there was depth if I looked long enough and hard enough. The bubbling, the peeling of the rust, the surfacing of paint and rich colors all created their own reflections; abstract images, scenes, etched in the metal. It was all still very alive despite the patina of deterioration.

Rust has been one more theme in my photographic work that keeps me connected to my childhood, my island, my inner energy. Rust speaks to me as a continuation of the life cycle; another visually redolent chapter in time.

Chiara-Sophia Coyle

About Chiara-Sophia Coyle

Born in the United States in the 1960s (then, transplanted to a very small, remote Greek island at the age of three months); brought up in a bilingual and frequently culturally conflicted environment; repatriated to Homeland No. 1 some 25 years ago; descended from four generations of photographers, Chiara-Sophia Coyle was acquainted with photography from an early age; always pursued by her mother, Rolleiflex at the ready, recording and sharing scenes of family life with absent grandparents and her children's working-at-sea father. Photography became Coyle's own escape as a young teenager. Kodak Instamatic in hand, the sound of the twist and the advancement of the film music to her ears, she began exploring all the elements of the Aegean: water, light, white, blue. While never an income generator, photography is what kept the artist sane as she navigated the challenges of single parenting, and endured the endless longing and aching for Homeland No. 2. Experimenting, early, with Emulsion Transfers, Coyle moved on to printing in her own dark room; then, to digital and iphoneography, constantly experimenting and exploring the new. Global travel presented opportunities to further discover, document, and exhibit, most recently in Oakland, California. Still based in Oakland, Coyle continues to travel, photograph, and work with what feeds her soul, wherever she may be: the people, the water, the reflections, the abstract. Her current art may be found on Instagram (#chiarasophia1); contact her at chiarasophia@gmail.com.
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2 Responses to The Essence of Rust

  1. Avatar Don says:

    A fascinating take on an everyday, usually unnoticed phenomenon. Enjoyed your thoughts on, and even more your images of, rust.

  2. Avatar Sophia Coyle says:

    Thank you, Don! I love reflecting on “what is it all about” when attracted to a certain theme.

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