The romantic Polphail “ghost village” is a memorial to the clamour of the UK’s 1970’s oil boom at a time when the industry was still considered to be cutting edge and essential, a time before the world began to seek cleaner and more sustainable forms of energy in the 21st century. Polphail speaks to us in its lost hopes for the modern world.
Purpose built in the untouched wilds of Scotland’s Argyll coast to house a staff of five hundred, the facility was completed but never commissioned, and the site has gradually fallen into disrepair. Forlorn and eerie, beautiful in its transformed, derelict state, the ghost village lies abandoned and haunted as the money moved elsewhere. Seven years ago professional graffiti artists were invited to paint the abandoned structures, and the bold work they integrated into the site now sadly molds, fades and crumbles.
Forty years on, we see just how fragile man’s control over the environment is as nature encroaches and continues to transform the site in an entwined and powerful dance. With demolition drawing near, the site earmarked for development and with the associated yard now a luxury marina and spa, the facility is also a touching metaphor for change and metamorphosis, a place where one can clearly witness man and nature colliding, and yet, ultimately, the strength and resilience of each.
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