Beauty in Decay

Beauty in Decay
Photo: Forsaken Photography

CNN recently had an intriguing piece on the rise of urban exploring and the explosion of interest in abandoned places.  They spoke with several UEs who confirmed the long-held belief that while many are drawn to these places for the thrill, most urban explorers (or those who photograph these places without identifying as an “explorer”) are motivated by a genuine sense of discovery. Enter an abandoned space and you leave behind the everyday and enter the extraordinary. There is always something unknown to know, something unseen to see, and something forgotten to be remembered again in those empty hallways and tunnels, surrounded by nothing but peeling paint, fallen plaster, splintered wood and the ever-present specter of security guards and ghosts. But beyond the thrill and adrenaline, there is always the chance to see and capture something beautiful. For photographers of the abandoned, a piece of rusting machinery in an abandoned grist mill or a creaky gurney in an abandoned hospital is sculpture. Peeling paint and plaster are mixed media collages. Light pouring through a window transforms an abandoned power plant into a gothic cathedral. For many of us, the thrill is what gets us going, but the beauty is what keeps us coming back.