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Documenting a Contemporary Working Ruin


My fascination with urban ruins has made me very observant of just how many structures lie abandoned around Sydney, magnificent in their architecture or just a signifier of a former, now outdated use.

Power stations and sub stations, abandoned factories and warehouses, disused railway lines, even single crumbling walls, exist around Sydney, mostly with very little known or documented about them.

There is a truly unique group of buildings in Sydney that sits incongruously in its suburban landscape. Once a sail-makers’ premises, the buildings today seem oddly romantic – one building, a cottage on the site, sports wrought iron window surrounds, and charming blue woodwork on the doors that is peeling and decaying, but would now be regarded as fashionably distressed.



The premises is very much still in business and is an Aladdin’s cave of things lucent and theatrical. A further photographic project would be to document the contents of the Tardis like factory itself.



As with most urban ruins, nature reclaims territory wherever possible. Volunteer plants – beautiful weeds – entwine themselves among rusting metal and decaying wood. Perhaps a triffid is waiting for its moment…



The site, familiar to me for many years, still fascinates. Artisan like, quirky, dilapidated, not a ghost, clinging tenaciously to life, the spirit of this working ruin is palpable as you wander the site.



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