Lost Asylum Sonnets

Vintage soft toy trying to escape from a battered playpen. (Viveca Koh LRPS)

“a roller skate dreaming of escape … a piano’s broken grin … a wheelchair refusing its fate …


Lost Asylum Sonnets is a journey of documentary imagination into the abandoned world of insane asylums, and the lives once lived within them. Ten photographs by Viveca Koh and ten sonnets by Catherine Lupton light on small details and overlooked traces to weaves tales of the pain, hope, tedium and suffering experienced by asylum inhabitants, from birth through to death.”

This book is a collaboration with Catherine Lupton, who was inspired by the ten photographs of an abandoned asylum that I submitted for my LRPS distinction, and unbeknownst to me at the time she wrote a sonnet to accompany each image. When I first read her words I was, to quote a common phrase, “blown away”, not only by her imagination and the sheer power of the sonnets, but in the way that she had really “got inside” every photograph and expressed something beyond the visual in a way that I never could. I felt honoured that she had not only seen so much within my photographs but also that she felt sufficiently moved to write a sonnet for each one, and having previously played around with some layouts for other books on Blurb suggested to her that we make a book together. Lost Asylum Sonnets is the result, and whilst the preview here only shows a few of the pages, I hope that some of you will be sufficiently intrigued to purchase a copy in order to read the rest ….

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One Response to “Lost Asylum Sonnets”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Erik Kerstenbeck and Toad Hollow, VivecaKohPhotog. VivecaKohPhotog said: Lost Asylum Sonnets http://bit.ly/dIAVCS #photog #poetry #urbex #Blurb book […]

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