His photos of suburbia and country towns capture the mood I often feel in those places. I can’t put a name to it. It’s lonely but homely. The soul can rest there, but what is it resting on?
I came across this quote recently, and I think it suits:
The function of the imagination is not to make strange things settled, so much as to make settled things strange.
– G. K. Chesterton
I think there’s a feeling of strangeness that can only arise in relation to the familiar and the homely, though exactly what prompts it I don’t know. Maybe it’s related to the sense of time passing, the knowledge that the familiar will change into the unfamiliar. If something is already unfamiliar, that sense of pathos-inflected unease won’t arise. Or maybe it’s something else. One of those elusive shades of emotion, tricky to pin down.