Photographer documenting decay

'Beauty in Breakage' continues at Arts Building Side Gallery
By: Loryll Nicolaisen, Journal features editor
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Sean Patrick Leydon realizes that nothing is forever. Everything has a life span and becomes obsolete at some point. This is when Leydon steps in with his camera. Leydon’s photography exhibit, “Beauty in the Breakage,” documents decay and disintegration. “I guess it boils down to the way I look at the world in general, the inevitability of things dying, things being forgotten,” Leydon said. “There’s a quiet and a calm to these things falling apart.” “Beauty in the Breakage” is on display at the Arts Building Side Gallery through April 2 and features more than two dozen photographs capturing everything from peeling paint to rusted machinery. The photographs are framed in old redwood — Leydon and his father built the frames out of planks from a now-defunct deck. Leydon, who grew up in Newcastle, graduated from Humboldt State University in 2010 and is back living in the foothills. His exhibit began as a project for a photography class, and was meant originally to be presented as a slideshow. The project kept evolving because Leydon kept finding inspiration. “I kept seeing the project no matter where I was,” he said. “I kept looking for things for the show.” Leydon hopes to present his slideshow Saturday during an artist’s reception for “Beauty in the Breakage.” Some of Leydon’s “Breakage” photos depict Humboldt County’s decaying logging industry. About a fourth of his photos focus on abandoned machinery from this and other fading and forgotten industries like mining. “I hope people in this area can identify with that sense of abandoned equipment, those things that are lying around that can’t be used anymore,” Leydon said. Shawn Baldwin, PlacerArts program specialist/ gallery manager, said Leydon’s show is definitely worth seeing. “Sean’s photography allows the viewer an opportunity to take pause and appreciate the details in life that may often be quickly dismissed,” Baldwin said. “In a day where everyone is so quick to replace material items with the newest and great upgrades, ‘Beauty in the Breakage’ reminds us that there is an intrinsic value in everything.” Leydon said it’s hard to pick a favorite from the “Beauty in the Breakage” photos. “Originally the project for me was one piece and I still think of them that way,” he said. “They’re all complementary to each other.” __________ “Beauty in the Breakage” When: Reception held 7-9 p.m. Saturday; show continues through April 2 Where: The Arts Building Side Gallery, 808 Lincoln Way, Auburn Info: (530) 885-5670