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Fun Spot Amusement Park

Angola, Indiana: the ultimate destination of my mini-Midwest road trip, ten minutes from the Ohio border and another ten from Michigan (which I inadvertently saw as well, getting lost on the rural back roads of this frustrating state).

And so the real adventure began.

It started when I went to scope out my location the night before, so I would be better prepared the next morning. I figured there would be a fence surrounding the place so I knew I’d want to have my game plan fairly set about where I was going to shoot and what I was going to wear (another big question mark that took up the entire night, and ate into my sleep ;))

The location: Fun Spot Amusement Park

Whose website reads in big, block letters: WILL NOT BE OPEN FOR THE 2010 SEASON.

Perfect.

However, it seems that the zoo was still operational, housing what the it liked to boast as it’s attraction: white bengal tigers. I luckily did not see any, but I definitely was made aware of their terrifying presence (as well as a few other friendly cats from the animal kingdom, I’m sure) as every few feet when I stopped to snap a photo, a distinct wail would erupt from the far side of the park. It also didn’t help I pulled in to Indiana late, and was cruising around that park at sunset. But really, just being all alone in Indiana in an eerily deserted location, begging to be filled with people and laughter; the backdrop of countless family photos from Midwest families over the years, was enough to push me over the edge, trying to work as quickly as possible so I didn’t burst into tears.

The next morning was a bit better, thankfully.

The “House of Glass”.

One of the first shots of the morning. I think it’s interesting placing the photos of this series in chronological order, watching the sun rise higher and higher. Think you can figure it out? ;)

I’m surprised I didn’t come out with a broken leg from this one–or at the very least, a sprained ankle from those beloved Madden wedges. ;) That globe I’m not-so-sturdily perched against was quite dew slick and the gate upon which my foot is resting was really about 3 to 4 ft off the ground. But if it’s not a challenge, it’s probably not worth it. ;)

I know I already included a shot by the roller coaster in this same outfit, but I adore this one too much to leave it out. Aaaah!

And my personal favorite from this series. :)

I usually don’t engage in many personal, conceptual projects but am finding more and more how meaningful they can be. My thoughts behind Fun Spot: As soon as I discovered this location from another online blog, I knew I had to shoot here. The why and in what were issues that later solved themselves.

The why: I’m in a period of transition in my life right now, unlike any other I have experienced. I graduated college in May, I have recently found myself in a jobless situation now that my summer work has come to a close, and my personal life saw a shift in the past few months that has left me single and independent. In short: it’s time for me to grow up. I’m drawn to the idea of an abandoned amusement park, as these places are reminiscent of childhood and the carefree days of and youth and fun. However, being here on my own without the typical bustling, festive setting shows a girl having to move on into adulthood and transition on her own.

And in what: that infamous purple sequined dress I casually bought at an antique store in Duluth for a mere $14. To me, those dazzling purple sequins represent fun, bubbly, youthful energy. By dressing it differently in every photograph, I’m searching for reinvention.

All in all: a successful trip with results I am proud of. What more to ask for there? :)

KH