My eyes have been drawn to the lines on games courts for just about as long as I remember. Despite being distinctively average at sports, as a teenager, I found myself in the school hockey, netball and tennis teams. Not particularly engaged in the games at hand (much to the exasperation of my teammates), I often gazed at the lines that marked out the rules and boundaries of the sport.
It wasn't until I came across the work of Ward Roberts that I decided to photograph the courts that I encountered both during my everyday life as well as travels.
I have a preference for empty and sun-bleached courts and I find that midday is a good time to catch them. When the sun is at its zenith, people don't usually use the courts, the light is harsh and the courts gleam in gorgeous pastel hues. There is something about a lifeless court. A place designed and created for activity momentarily still and dormant is somehow, moving to me.
The universal appeal of sports is the reason that games courts are a Super Ordinary feature in many of our cities.
Their familiarity stems from the form, lines and features. Their regional and cultural context however, is what makes them less so. You can tell a lot about a place from their courts. Things like the climate, usage and state of maintenance all add their accounts to a court’s story. One thing that remains universal is how sport supersedes and breaks down many a linguistic and cultural barrier. That’s really powerful!
Shared on Instagram via #super_ordinarylife:
@Jimeyrejimeyrejimeyre is masterful at capturing the beauty of courts. We are always delighted when he adds another to the hashtag.