I’ve been chipping away at this project on the Eveleigh Paint Shop a while now, so I’m very excited to finally be able to reveal what I’ve been up to.
For anyone who is familiar with Carriageworks , the Eveleigh Paint Shop is that familiar sawtoothed building opposite.
Lost Collective has been providing photographs to UrbanGrowth NSW for the Eveleigh Stories website, as part of the Central to Eveleigh urban transformation and transport program.
A couple of photos even made the cut for the UrbanGrowth NSW Reception area.
Beyond the walls of the Victorian era building is a team of dedicated volunteers who contribute their time to the restoration of some of NSW past rolling stock.
You might have noticed this building yourself when making your way into the city on the train. It can be seen on your left (city bound) just before arriving at Redfern Station.
Some of the trains such as the iconic “Red Rattler” hail from the recent past, others date back over a century. The team volunteering here at the Eveleigh Paint Shop painstakingly restore these amazing examples of railway history back to their former glory.
They also build incredibly detailed scale models of former NSW rail sites, such as the old Punchbowl Maintenance Depot pictured below. Look at the attention to detail!
Anyway, back to the real trains. Seeing the vast changes in the design of public transport over the years, particularly the interiors was quite an eye opener.
When you can get close enough to see those hand carved, hand-turned pieces of wood of the armrests, decorative carving in the chair frames and the wooden shutter blinds, it gives you an appreciation for the level of craftsmanship that’s long since been lost in the design of modern public transport.
The trains are some that live in the memories of my childhood, others which ceased operation many decades before I was even born. The centurion pictured above is 103 years old!
Pictured below is the workshop where the team overseeing the restorations tinker away, bringing the rail cars back to their former glory.
This shoot was created over two initial visits for photography, then about three more visits for research by talking to some of the restoration crew. More about this later.
I’ll be publishing a new Lost Collective gallery in the near future with lots more photos and a detailed essay on the historical importance of the Paint Shop.
In the meantime, you can head over to Eveleigh Stories to see the first instalment of the Eveleigh Paint Shop series.
Eveleigh Stories is building an archive from the rich history of the locality, and presenting that through this great online resource. You can even submit your own story if you have something of your own that you’d like to contribute.
ATP’s heritage volunteers, both conservation volunteers and volunteer tour guides, play an invaluable role in conserving, enhancing and communicating our heritage to interested members of the public, ATP tenants and visitors.
If you’d like to get involved, you can register your interest here .
I’d like to give special thanks to Dave Fox (above) and Geoff Moss (below – Pic: UrbanGrowth NSW), both of whom helped immensly by taking the time to teach me about the background of the train cars and carriages, as well as the site itself. This gallery wouldn’t have been possible without them.
Dave and Geoff are part Historic Electric Traction , a group chaired with managing the preservation of the Railway’s suburban and interurban carriage collection
I hope you’ve enjoyed this latest blog post. If you’d like to stay updated on what’s coming, including the upcoming gallery of this site, make sure you sign up to the Lost Collective newsletter at the bottom of this page.
If you’d like updates around the Central to Eveleigh program or for opportunities to get involved, follow Central to Eveleigh of Facebook .
UrbanGrowth NSW leads the transformation of surplus or underutilised government-owned land to create vibrant and connected urban spaces, close to public transport.
As a state-owned corporation, they collaborate with government, industry and community to facilitate complex projects at different stages – from planning to place making, to deliver better outcomes for the city and its people.
Their work enables much needed new housing choices, community facilities, jobs in growing centres and facilitates a globally competitive and resilient state.
Here’s an exceptional example by Soviet Innerness, of how, just looking at the way you approach an idea, and changing your perspective can produce fresh and elegant results.
I love the way how Elena Amabili and Alessandro Calvaresi have shown with their beautiful project, Soviet Innerness , sometimes a unique idea can be right under your nose if you are willing to be adventurous enough in your thinking and rule nothing.
They’ve managed to create these beautiful images of simple close-ups that offer a full spectrum of entirely different structure but, when joined into a complete set, create this amazing display of unique and surprisingly colourful scenes from an abandoned environment.
When I’m photographing abandoned buildings, I tend to follow a formula of wide-angle compositions. It tends to rely heavily on the architectural and physical features of an entire scene.
Sometimes, especially when shooting large rooms or expansive spaces, and becomes easy to lose sight of the smaller details while in the hunt of just trying to capture everything once.
Just looking at their work makes me want to go and do close ups.
It reminds me of this artist I saw in Centre Pompidou when we visited Paris in 2008.
The moment I saw this artwork I loved it, I can’t quite put my finger on it, It’s something do do with the mix of paint and paper and the way one overlays the other.
I can somehow see the same thing in the artwork by the artist and the inadvertent artwork created by the former residents of these homes.
To see the original feature, click here .
“Soviet Innerness tells about the places where wallpaper is torn, and Pravda peeks out; where coats of the paint layer, dilapidate, and eerie flowers blossom; where time stands still and the unheimlich is comfortable.”
While exploring dilapidated buildings in Latvia for a photographic project, Elena Amabili and Alessandro Calvaresi found other quieter, more personal remnants of Soviet design.
Originally, the duo was attempting to take impressive wide shots of everything, but in the end, the little details on the walls were the unintentional, stand out feature – so the focus of the shoot changed accordingly.
Smith Journal , is a quarterly, Australia-based publication that takes unexpected, interesting, funny and sometimes complicated stories and tells them the way you would to a bunch of friends at the pub.
I came accross this article in Popular Mechanics, featuring these hauntingly beautiful images of Soviet-era buildings, infrastructure and vehicles by Russian photographer Danila Tkachenko . Part of his project “Restricted Areas”.
The images offer this sense of solitude, as though you’re there and can hear the howling, snow-filled wind.
I find the quality of the imagery and the environments they are captured in is amazing.
The pieces of infrastructure themselves are such powerful subjects, but the environment surrounding them, the sheer look of freezing and loneliness amongst the ice and snow.
This has Danila’s distinct style wrapped up beautifully.
I love how Danila uses the highlights of the snow, to camouflage the surrounding environment making the buildings and objects appear almost as if they float.
The simple fact that these items in the image are such poignant reminders of a forgotten past.
Unheard of technology that harks back to the collapse of the USSR.
There is radar arrays, observatoris, oil pumps (pictured), an unusual seaplane looking vehicle and even a submarine.
Wouldn’t it be an amazing adventure, trudging along, through the snow in search of something like this.
The journey itself would be worth it!
I think Danila is a very talented artist and I look forward to seeing more of his work. You can too, if check out his work here.
There are lots of good memories around the making of this feature. Not least the fact that the article in itself was written and published superbly by Collective Hub , but it was also an adventurous time in our lives.
I’d just decided to make the switch from my trade of 17 years to pursue Lost Collective full time, and we were on our way to Japan, intentionally what was planned as a holiday but somehow became hijacked and turned into a search of abandoned buildings.
Three weeks trekking into the unknown!
On our way to Japan, Collective Hub asked if I had any Japanese related content, for part of an upcoming segment in the next run of the magazine.
We were literally at Hong Kong airport on my way to Japan when I received that email.
As far as planning the trip across the countryside goes. I had a rough idea of places we ‘could’ go, but nothing was firm, apart from the fact that the first five days would be in Tokyo.
As it panned out, we managed to build a lot of content quickly. The first place we went specifically to seek out abandonments was Yubari.
We drove back and forth from Sapporo where we stayed to Yubari where we shot for four days straight.
There was only a couple of places in Yubari that were predetermined to visit, the school and the power station
When you drive into Yubari, you can almost feel the vacuum that has resulted in a bankrupt city that has seen a 90% decline in its total population.
The sense of abandonment is overwhelming. There’s a distinctive sense of stillness as you enter Yubari out of the tunnel from the highway
So in the midst of our three weeks in Japan, after I’d managed to build up some decent content, I worked through this article with Collective Hub.
It’s an adventure I won’t soon forget. I want to go back!
Having always been a massive fan of Nikon used the gear from the beginning to now, I was chuffed to have been featured in My Nikon Life.
Even better was the fact that they were kind enough to lend me a Nikon D810 instead of having to use my old Nikon D7000 with AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED , AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED and AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/4G ED lenses, and take it to Japan no less, on the simple request that I try to not ‘destroy’ the gear.
Seemed like a fair ask to me.
This was one of the most fun-filled adventures of my life to date. I was just working in a job, unsatisfied with how my life was turning out and having been that way for 17 years.
We took this trip to Japan, and I resigned from my job two weeks later to focus on Lost Collective. Truth be told it has been a lot harder than I expected.
I’ve been chipping away through the photos, still to this day, processing, editing, metadata, research, copywriting and publishing plus trying to keep on top of new stuff for the future!
But I wouldn’t do it unless I loved it.
In a world of truly mindblowing photographers that Nikon supports, I am eternally grateful to have been able to fit into the picture to tell my story.
I’d been in touch with the Cundletown & Lower Manning Historical Society Inc to try and piece together some of the history behind a shoot I’d done at the abandoned Peters’ Ice Cream Factory in Taree .
The timing of this post was fortunate to align with the 2016 National Trust Heritage Festival Heritage Festival.
The Society had organised a reunion for the local dairy workers, past and present who dedicated their lives and in many cases still do, to the dairy industry of the region, including the Peters’ Ice Cream Factory.
The week before the event, I was sent a document outlining the history of my photos of the long abandoned buildings thanks to Jo Barlin of Barlin Milk.
I worked away frantically writing copy to fill the captions the 800mm square dining table in a tiny airbnb apartment in Maebashi, Japan.
It was a bit of a rush job, but by all accounts, the reunion went well.
The post itself became an announcement aimed towards of the former workers of the Manning River & Cundletown dairy industries.
Laura Polson of The Manning River Times got in touch to publish an article coinciding with the reunion. As it turns out, even Laura herself descends from a family of dairy farmers.
We did a good email interview, and the news article also got the word out of the day before the reunion.
I think even a few members of the general public went along to the reunion to see the ice cream and butter making demonstrations. I wish I could have made it for that!
The remnants of Peters Ice Cream Factory in Taree have been captured by a Sydney based photographer through his project ‘Lost Collective’.
He shares the photos online to engage everyday people by, “encouraging them to reconnect with former lives and sometimes former friends.”
If you’d like to see the article in the Manning River Times, click here .
The Manning River Times has been proudly serving the people of the Manning Region, on the Mid-North Coast of New South Wales, since 1869.
Last week at the National Trust Australia (NSW) Heritage Awards, Lost Collective was awarded highly commended in the multimedia category.
It’s amazing to see the project gaining the attention it has garnered over the last year.
I just wanted to thank everyone support I’ve received. Anyone who follows what I do, It’s all a little overwhelming. I pour my heart and soul into Lost Collective. So it’s always humbling to hear that people can take something away when they look at what I do.
The last year has been an absolute adventure for me and my family. We moved house, Lost Collective was born, I travelled through Japan, and I left my job.
It was a plunge into the unknown with very little idea what my next move is, and so far so good!
But hey, with great risks comes great reward, right?
Why not just take the chance and leave a job that had never truly satisfied me for 17 years. Why not just see if doing what I love works?
I’m looking forward to getting stuck into all the content I need to work through over the next couple of months. Most coming from the recent Japan trip but there is a bit of local stuff in the mix.
Congratulations also to the very deserving dual winners of the multimedia category for the 2016 National Trust Heritage Awards – Sydney Living Museums & Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection for ‘Recorded for the Future: Documenting NSW Homes
Image Credit: Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection, Photograph (c) Andrew Frolows, Sydney Living Museums:
So being a draw, kudos are also given to North Sydney Council , Jenssen Design Associates , BrownsLane Productions & SiteSuite Website Design for ‘At Home in North Sydney: An Architectural History of a Locality .
I didn’t actually know of this article in Sydney Morning Herald . I mean, I know about the feature from my earlier blog post obviously, but maybe it was just one I missed.
There may be a slightly distorted truth in this article about how I’ve “been quietly letting himself into deserted buildings and institutions”.
The truth is far more complicated than that and is up for interpretation depending on who you ask.
It’s always going to be that way. So in asking me how I do get in, well, that I’ll leave it up to you to ponder.
Regardless, to feature in SMH again was very humbling, and I’m very thankful for the support I’ve received from Fairfax over the past year.
There’s lots on the radar for this coming year! Not the least all this Japanese content I built up over the next month following from this article. On top of this I keep searching for opportunities to shoot and document new and exciting buildings.
I’m playing with the idea of gradually relaxing the focus Lost Collective so that it isn’t so heavily reliant on urban exploration.
I’d like to start including more of the photos I take that aren’t as reliant on HDR and post processing.
I love getting out and catching some landscape and moving water photography with some nice and slow ND Filters like the Lee Little and Big Stoppers and my B+W Circular Polirizing Filter . I love playing around with these, especially in mountain streams and sea scapes.
I feel like it has a place here in Lost Collective too. Just where?
Brett Patman’s photographs of abandoned building interiors evoke a strong sensory response – one can almost hear the paint flakes crackling underfoot and breathe the stale air.
Over the past five years he’s been quietly letting himself into deserted buildings and institutions and photographing their dark, haunting interiors, heavy with the echoes of activity but bereft of life.
It was working as a mechanical technician in places like factories, power stations and foundries that piqued Patman’s interest in documenting the architecture of decay. He began exploring beyond the barricades of tumbledown structures and time and time again discovered narratives of past eras. So began Patman’s one-man photography project, the Lost Collective.
To see the original article, click here.
From breaking news to travel and fashion, Sydney Morning Herald continues to transform the way Australians get their news.
I haven’t been able to bring myself to listen to this interview I did with Radio New Zealand Nine to Noon .
I probably should, seeing it’s the most in-depth interview I’ve done, but I hate listening to my own voice.
This was recorded while I was still working full time in between weekend urbex adventures. It was in between a job, and we had to find a quiet public space to have the phone interview.
We parked at the end of an industrial area, and I walked across a couple of parks to get to a football field where I waited for the call to come through from New Zealand.
I was actually starting to get a little bit nervous so I started walking laps while waiting to do the interview. When it was time to record, I hadn’t stopped walking laps!
Kathryn obviously picked up on something and during the interview and asked if I was moving around. My cover was blown! Can you tell in the audio that I’m walking?
In the end, it was a good chat, we got into urban exploration, histories, communities and photography of course, and I’m very thankful to Radio New Zealand for taking an interest in my work.
You can listen to the full interview here
This was a fun interview with ABC Central West talking to Kia Handley about some of my recent shoots in Regional NSW, such as Blayney Abattoir , Bathurst Gasworks and Kandos Cement Works .
Blayney Abattoir was one of the first galleries I ever posted that went viral on Facebook through the power of community engagement.
There were people from decades back telling their stories of past times from when the Abattoir was still the backbone of Blayney.
It was amazing to watch unfold. It even began the Blayney Abattoir Facebook Group , which grew almost overnight to over 400 members and now have a reunion planned for later in the year.
It was sad too, reading about people who weren’t ready to leave or who were too old to find new employment, others who were forced to relocate due to shortages of work availability.
Many long time friends hadn’t seen each other for decades.
I think it speaks volumes about the impact these closures on a surrounding town when a large scale operation that the town was built to support, leaves .
Conversely, It’s not to say that every business should continue to run at a loss in the name of supporting workers either.
Time and time again, the companies move on to more profitable endeavours while the communities that supported it through its lifetime are faced with either very difficult choices or none at all.
Every time a major business leaves a region, we see the media reports offering its employees support and assistance where it can. But is it ever enough? I mean what is a livelihood and lifelong residency near your friends and family worth?
Do any ever really go back to check how things are going or if there is anything else they can do to help beyond what is required?