Why I photograph abandoned spaces

Abandoned Farmhouse – outskirts of Melbourne

I remember when I was a kid (pre teens) growing up in rural Victoria, hopping on my bicycle and heading out to explore with my friends.  It was an adventure, coloured by wonder, excitement and a slight touch of the forbidden.  We literally did play on the train tracks (and on one occassion underneath them), all the while blissfully unaware of any potential risks that such adventures might pose.

As I got older I set such adventures aside, concentrating on far more serious and mundane matters.  Fastforward nearly 30 years and a series of events have combined to reawaken the sense of wonder and excitment associated with simply exploring the spaces around me.  I took up photography just over 18 months ago and in the pursuit of subjects to photograph locally, I started to explore the Jackson’s Hill site.  Jackson’s Hill was most recently a campus of Victoria University which was abandoned some years ago.  Previous to Victoria University’s tenure however, Jackson’s Hill had a much darker history as an industrial school for orphans, a womens reformatory and as a mental asylum.

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Abandoned Vietnamese Garden
Abandoned Vietnamese Garden – Outskirts of Melbourne

My expeditions to Jackson’s Hill reawakened my childish sense of wonder at exploration and I started to wander further afield looking for new subjects to explore and photograph.  A friend of mine recently asked via Facebook how I find some of the incredible locations that I have recorded.  Largely I just wander and look around me, much as I did as a 10 year old kid.