In September of 2005, I came across a house. I couldnt tell at first if it was inhabited or not because heaps of personal belongings were strewn across the lawn and the front porch, all around the houses property. As I stepped tentatively into the backyard, I was sure I could feel eyes staring at me from behind the dirty windows; I kept waiting for a voice to shoo me out. This never happened however; the place was abandoned and had been so for quite a long time.
The house itself was tightly boarded shut, but the remains of a family, of human lives, were there in full view, not boxed up in an attic, but scattered like leaves across the lawn. Most of the things there could be considered trash, but as I looked closer, certain objects stood out among the debris: a bag filled with old plastic toys, wedged under a pile of tires; a tricycle hidden amongst the overgrown grass; a teddy bear, once white, now green, its fur matted down by wind and rain. I couldnt understand how a family could leave such personal things behind. At first I only wanted to document the house and objects as they were- moving them felt like robbing a grave. But as I returned to this house more often and became more comfortable there, different pictures called out to me. I became protective of all the small keepsakes I found and of the lost children and family that I would never know. I wanted to bring these toys and this family to life and to create a world where they belonged again.