Posts tagged abandoned
Surf City

WORDS: TROY PROUDFOOT / PHOTOGRAPHY: @KINGSTONPHOTO

THE YEAR WAS 1958, AND THERE, BENEATH THE HOT CALIFORNIAN SUMMER SUN, THE GREAT WHITE HOPE THAT BECAME TO BE KNOWN AS SALTON CITY WAS BORN INTO A MODERN WORLD FILLED WITH SO MANY FAILED STARTS AND STRAINED ATTEMPTS. HERE WAS AN ECLECTIC ’50S SUBURBAN WONDERLAND IN ITS INFANCY, BURSTING AT THE SEAMS WITH OVERFLOWING OPTIMISM, AND YET A RISING SALINE SEA WAS ENOUGH TO BRING IT CRUMBLING TO ITS KNEES. IT WAS AN IMAGINARY CITY OF NEW BEGINNINGS THAT SHONE LIKE THE GREAT AMERICAN DREAM, WITH AN EXPIRATION DATE THAT CAME WAY TOO SOON.

It’s a zip code that once brought tourists in droves to the sandy beaches of the salton sea but now sits silent and desolate. A heart that once beat at its core now lies shattered in pieces as the remnants of a bygone era litter the streets and muddy the shoreline. North shore is now the outlands of the golden age where the surfers, rogue hearts and disenchanted all came to spend their endless summers, but really only came to live and die quietly in the night.

Setting out on the road from Salton City is like driving on a road to nowhere. It reaches up to consume all who venture into a realm that is honestly just disintegrating there in plain sight beneath the California sun. On approach, it’s the initial sight of the manmade ‘Salvation Mountain’ emblazoned in its colourful religious epitaphs out there in an the unforgiving setting of the Colorado desert that takes your breath away. Post-apocalyptic hell in essence, yet strangely beautiful and awe-inspiring in nature.

Dilapidated rest stops and gas stations now serve as sentries to a long forgotten villa of abandoned hair salons, hardware stores, trailer parks, houses of worship and drugstores. Out here in the slabs, squatters and nomads known as ‘snowbirds’ return to the outlands for the winter months to live off the grid and thrive in the middle of fucking nowhere, just to prove that technology is the root of all evil. Summertime sadness reigns supreme out here among the art installations, forgotten dreams, grit and grime.

Want this in print? Surf City is available in newsagents throughout Australia and our online shop.

 

 

 

 

The Past is Present
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As many sit still, relaxed in reality, watching and waiting for the future to arrive from an increasingly expensive and acutely governed theatre seat, we sneak away from bores of society to adventure through the neglected spaces long abandoned by the past. 

WORDS: SARAH HAZLEHURST / PHOTOGRAPHY: LUKE HENERY


For us, it’s plain to see there’s much more sense and significance in the abandoned and ignored rooms of empty buildings than in the day-to-day falsifying facets of the cityscape.  

It’s true that some choose to overlook the existence of these places and let the confines of legality dictate ignorance, but we relish in the emptiness, the abandoned and the forgotten. We ignore the regulation against entry and accept the lessons and experiences of exploration. 

Let these images remind you of what is real, what is lost and what is left behind.


ELECTRIC ENCOUNTERS
Once a coal-fuelled power station, this abandoned space is now a sanctuary for artists of all kinds. At five storeys high, it’s easy to lose yourself in admiration looking at the sheer volume of art that occupies every wall. Boasting a historical past and colourful present, this space features the works of many, both local and world-renowned, acting as a visual projection for the artistically inclined. 

IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH

This building was an aged care center. It is now unused and uninhabited on a busy main road. Previously occupied by nurses and elderly patients, it’s concerning to think what happened to everyone who lived here. This block of buildings now stands alone behind a barrier fence. Every door is open. It’s almost as if someone is calling out to invite the curious to come inside. This bathtub was found full of water. The roof was flooding in from above. The atmosphere here was so empty and alone. In its current abandoned form, mixed with the predicted thoughts of loss and helplessness for those who resided here, this place is a reminder of what nightmares are really made of. 

PALMS AND PARADISE

What was once an enormous nursery and gardening centre, is now an abandoned abyss. The place is so large, you can become lost in a matter of minutes. So many remnants and reminders have been left behind. There are plants and pottery at every corner! This place is truly a palace to behold. Taking in the sheer size of it is nothing short of breathtaking. Why anyone would choose to leave this place, we’ll likely never know. This abandoned business and deserted home is an extraordinary playground full of peculiar sights. 

SCHOOL OF SIN

This building was an educational institution for tertiary and further education. It once schooled many creatively talented individuals. It now serves as a canvas for illicitly inclined artists and acts as an overwhelming source of inspiration for explorers. It’s a task to find a blank wall seeing so many have visited before. It’s so interesting to see the names and tags people have left here. Some might say this space was destroyed by graffiti, but we wouldn’t. Here, vandals can show artistic expression at a site long abandoned by its inhabitants.