Urban exploration (URBEX) photography gives the euphoria that certainly cannot be matched by your standard photography adventure. It is the feeling of jumping fences, lifting man holes, squeezing through tiny gaps and going into an unknown place that is most intriguing. Naturally, there are associated risks when we URBEX as many locations can be heavily guarded- and not just with cameras but numerous security guards. The idea of this modern art is to explore a location for what it is today and not be one of those who are strictly there to vandalize the infrastructure further.
During a recent road trip through the South of WA, I stumbled across an abandoned farm house whilst searching the coastline for landscape shots. The house, which appeared to be built long before our lifetime is hidden behind the large Karri trees just off the main highway. Having a fascination with URBEX, photography and anything unique, I couldn’t help but park the car up in the stormy weather to see if I could take some quick snaps.
After a few leaps over chicken wire fences and making the 50 or so metre walk through lush greenery I finally made it to the area of entry. Skeptical of possible crackheads and squatters, I had a quick glance through the open front door to check the surroundings; after the all clear I made my way into the deserted house for the chance to investigate. The house was uninhabitable. Water had started to seep through the ceiling creating various holes and the old jarrah floor boards had started to buckle and crack from exposure to the elements; still it was well worth the time and effort to check it out.
Inside what I assume to be the lounge room were hundreds of empty wine bottles all stacked perfectly against the walls, majority of these bottles were in great condition and without a doubt could be reused for some quirky decorations in most modern day homes.
Now to the part that got the mind ticking; as I walked throughout the house the only items that appeared to be left over by the previous home owners were various vintage children toys and nursery furniture. An old white cot had been left semi-intact next to a closed out fire place, old wooden toys left scattered along the floor and a rusty old high chair left in working order jammed up against a decaying bathtub. All these abandoned children items gave me that spine tingling feeling, it got me thinking about why these particular items had been left behind? Did something happen to a child in this house? Why did the owners pack up and leave? Who owns this house now? Where are they?
Still to this day I am unaware of the story behind the farm house, this is what makes URBEX so enjoyable and interesting, it’s that feeling you get when you walk away with a 100 unanswered questions and a camera full of photos. Its leaves me with that desire to find further abandoned houses/buildings and forever continue to create and inspire others to do the same.
Follow Corey Bell on instagram @wildermind_photography