Urbex, Urban Art & More
There’s a reason Sheffield brought you the Full Monty, and there’s more to it than a unique blend of Yorkshire humour and good-natured dourness. The fact is that Sheffield, despite all its good points, is extremely run down, with abandoned steel works, factories and other buildings blighting the cityscape.
It’s tempting to associate ghost towns and abandoned cities with America’s Old West or the wild expanses of former Soviet Russia. But such places exist on every continent including Europe, which boasts a diverse range of impressive and tragic abandonments.
Few black projects – especially recent ones – can be seen on public display in museums, or at least museums that are open to the public! The Bird of Prey, developed in the 1990s by McDonnell Douglas and Boeing to test stealth technology, is one of the rare exceptions.
While fascinating and mysterious, abandoned places and objects are not usually known for their joyful appearance or radiant colours. But apply HDR photography techniques and suddenly the reinvigorated colours and contrasts are enough to bring even the most dreary building or wrecked vehicle back to life.
Ghost towns and abandoned cities are strange and alluring places, often reflecting some great upheaval that led to their demise. Asia is no stranger to urban abandonments, from antiquated to modern, deserted due to natural disaster or simply a lack of purpose.
It isn’t unusual to find man-made debris littering lake beds, like rusting supermarket trolleys and even old cars, but occasionally even a vintage aircraft is discovered in the depths.
Big cities often feel like a claustrophobic blend of towering buildings, endless roads, inescapable noise and traffic. Imagine that, beneath many metropolises, an intricate network of tunnels, subways and sewers exist – many of them silent.
It’s tempting to associate industrial abandonments with former Soviet Russia, but derelict factories occupy vast swaths of land in cities across the world. They often symbolise the shift from manufacturing to technology, and loom above the post industrial landscape as rusting reminders of times gone by.
The Old Treasury building in Perth, Australia, is an important part of the city’s historical landscape, and certainly one of its most impressive urban abandonments. Built in 1874 and occupied by the state government for more than 120 years, an eerie silence now fills the deserted rooms of this iconic building.
On 17 January 2008 a British Airways Boeing 777 en route from Beijing to London crashed just short of Heathrow Airport’s runway. But where is the aircraft now? A search via Google Earth has turned up the 777 wreck at Heathrow, stored anonymously behind a metal fence with all its BA markings removed.
The 20th Century was the most violent in human history, and a decade into the 21st century things look ominously similar. So it’s little wonder that abandoned tanks, planes and armoured vehicles litter the streets and deserts of the more wartorn regions of the world.
Art For the Sky is a unique project designed to bring diverse groups together, dissolve social boundaries and tackle the problems we face as individuals and society. Environmental artist Daniel Dancer has spent ten years travelling the world to create over 100 images using people, which must be viewed from above.
The North of England is a wild and windswept region, tempered by the relative civility of Roman occupation and forged thereafter by centuries of bloodshed. From Viking raiders to the Norman Conquest and the Border Wars to the Victorians, history and folklore are intricately woven within the fabric of this rugged region.
While the outward appearance of many capital cities is one of dull concrete, grand stone or skilled brickwork, others are characterised by a more colourful and quirky look that compliments their streetlife and brightens up even the most isolated of settlements. Here are six very different examples.
Most airfields and air force bases have an area known as the firepit, where unfortunate old aircraft are reincarnated as blazing infernos with the specific task of saving life and limb. It is here where rookie and experienced fire fighters alike acquire the necessary skills to tackle aircraft blazes, saving passengers and crew in the process.