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.
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.
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.
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
The Mungo Scott Flour Mill in Summer Hill was one of the first places I photographed after moving back to Sydney from Melbourne.
It was an interesting way to get back into urban exploration. I’d had a short hiatus after the birth of my daughter so I was a bit rusty.
I was doing the rounds trying to see if I could find a way inside the Mungo Scott Flour Mill, in a bit of a panic to be honest. I guess it’s those out of practice nerves.
Then out of nowhere I saw an elderly gentleman just walked in through an opened gate. I watched him for a while, and it was clear he was lost and didn’t mean to end up in there. After a while, he left via the same gate and continued on his way so I did the same thing. I would plead that I’m lost, with my camera if anyone asks.
Then on entering the first building, I came face to face with a small group of copper thieves raiding a switchboard.
We got into a minor argument about who had/had no right to be on the premises. They then proceeded to tell me that they were sent by the insurance company to disconnect the power to a building that has been out of business since 2007. On a Sunday in singlet and thongs no less.
So we agreed to disagree. I told them they are full of shit and I will go over there to take photos, and they can stay here keep disconnecting the power.
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?
This is the actual audio of my ABC Central West interview with Kia Handley that relates to my other blog post you can see here .
I don’t really know what happened in that introduction at the very beginning of this interview, nerves I guess.
This ABC Central West interview was live, although I wasn’t with Kia in the studio, I was on the phone sitting under a tree in a park in Mt Druitt, during work at my (former) real job. It seemed as though I went through a phase of doing this kind of thing, especially early 2016 when things really started to move quickly. I think there was one month where I ended up having something like a dozen media requests! It’s tough keeping Lost Collective ticking over while working a full-time job.
I don’t think that any of my interviews are fully representative of what I am about, it’s difficult to get everything out that I want to in 16 minutes but I think I got pretty close.
In saying all this, I know the content of a blog post is supposed to be informative and engaging, and I do my best where I can but the core of the content here is the audio interview itself. So, I invite you to head over to the ABC NSW Soundcloud page by clicking here and have a listen for yourself.
I had a chat with Angus Patterson from Insomniac. Angus has been a friend of mine from quite a while back now, dating back to a time when I wasn’t too old to feel out of place in nightclubs. Sign of the times.
While my passion for the nightlife has long since gone, that of Angus is still alive and well, and he continues to write and review music, venues and events on a regular basis.
A few years ago, Angus moved to Berlin reutilizing old buildings and infrastructure, re-adapting redundant industry into modern society is commonplace.
One perfect example of this is Berlins Berghain nightclub. Once an old, inefficient power station which was converted into one of the world’s best known and most exclusive nightclubs. It’s easy to see where the comparison is going with this, right?
While this scenario is unlikely to become a reality for White Bay Power Station when you look at the space and the scale from within the disused, hundred-year-old building, it’s easy to imagine what could become.
Oh, if only I had several hundred million dollars and a government willing to sell off what is probably the most exclusive piece of unused land in all of Australia.
To Angus’ article, click here.
French industry magazine L’usine Nouvelle reached out recently to feature this article on Lost Collective. I have to admit that I’m not entirely sure what the article says, but I think they like my pictures.
It was incredibly humbling to know that somehow, my work has managed to travel all the way to the other side of the globe and has been able to pick up the interest of a french publisher.
How this feature even came about is somewhat of a mystery to me. I never discovered how L’usine Nouvelle found out about me, but the reaction was great and people certainly took interest, so I’m very thankful for that.
This was in the midst of a bit of a media flurry in early 2016 when many publishers had taken an interest in Lost Collective and really contributed to building the profile of the project to what it is today.
Unfortunately, I don’t really have a lot to offer on the article itself given the fact it revolves around what you already see in Lost Collective. It’s more of a feature targeted at the French industrial audience of L’usine Nouvelle.
Through his project “Lost Collective”, the artist photographer Brett Patman revives Australian abandoned places: hospitals, gas factories or power plants.
Below is a Google translation of the actual article itself. Apologies if there are some errors in the conversion, but not being able to speak French myself makes accuracy, in this case, difficult.
The project highlights how nature reclaims once the people leave.
After only three months, its site already hosts several hundred pictures of twenty manufacturing sites around Sydney and its region New South Wales on the east coast of the country.
To read more, click here.
Curbed called all the way from New York to talk with me about Lost Collective and shooting industrial relics and abandoned factories.
The interview was part of “Behind the Lens”, which looks at architectural photographers both professional and amateur, examining how they got their start, stories from their portfolios, and tricks to capturing great design.
I have to admit that I had never even heard of Curbed before they reached out for this interview. I’m glad they did in the end, Curbed has since become one of my favourite websites.
Given the quality of the content they post and the other creative minds they interview, it was quite humbling to have Curbed think of me for this interview.
Like many who find themselves entranced by sprawling factories, deteriorating buildings, and abandoned industrial sites, Syndey-based photographer Brett Patman was blown away by the scale.
But unlike others drawn to massive relics, Patman had a decent sense of how much of it worked.
A former “fitter and turner,” better known as a machinist, Patman spent hours as a service technician exploring these sites.
He had been an amateur photographer for years—streetscapes, street art, “all the normal things everyone would photograph”—before curiosity got the better of him, and he turned his lens on the country’s industrial heritage.
After shooting inside an abandoned denim factory, he was hooked, and soon started Lost Collective, a website, Instagram account, and Facebook page dedicated to documenting images and stories of factories, plants, and other abandoned workspaces.
Curbed spoke with Patman about the meaning of “ruin porn,” the best way to capture larger-than-life subjects, and the benefits of asking politely instead of scaling fences.
To read the interview, click here.
Since 2004, Curbed has been an integral part of the online housing industry, and by providing analysis, coverage, and insight, Curbed applies an editorial lens to the onslaught of information.