15 September 2022
My thanks to the publishers for my copy of this book
In this collection of extraordinary photographs, photographer Simon Sugden has brought to the light the beauty of abandoned buildings and other sites no longer home to the activity of people. These buildings and places have been left empty, often to gently decay and rot, but a ghostly presence of their previous life remains. The buildings range from mills, mines, factories and other industrial features, farmhouses and fairgrounds to hospitals, asylums, places of entertainment and religious buildings. Sometimes we find boats, cars and aircraft left behind and rotting in the landscapes, nature is reclaiming many, others seem almost untouched by their disuse but all have a new kind of beauty. Look through these photographs and you will discover the beauty that photographer Simon Sugden has found in his unique portrayal of the after-life of abandoned buildings and other structures around Britain.
We've all seen those areas of decay in our urban towns and cities. Long forgotten buildings which stand sentinel to our past and are now quietly turning back to nature, becoming a home, sometimes, for those who have also been abandoned by society.
In this volume of photographs about Abandoned Britain photographer Simon Sugden takes us on his journey into forgotten Britain. From abandoned farmhouses complete with memories of a life lost, to the echoing chambers of factories and hospitals whose corridors still echo with the footsteps of those who once made the place buzz with activity. The tangible sadness of an abandoned room in an unquiet psychiatric hospital in Leeds could be the perfect backdrop for a film set.
There is something strangely compelling about urban decay. The shapes and shadows which lurk in corners can be highlighted by clever photography to show elements of beauty, maybe a curled newspaper, its date obscured, or the treasured mementos on a dressing table which hint at a life now gone. I was particularly taken by the clever use of light and shade which bring the photographs to life with an eerie sort of majesty, especially in the views of abandoned mill buildings, their cluttered machinery now obscured by myriad bird droppings.
Simon Sugden has travelled around northern England and brings together a fascinating collection of photographs which remind us that strange beauty is all around us, and if we look carefully through the shadows of Abandoned Britain we can still see glimpses of our forgotten past all around us.
Simon Sugden was born in Ilkley and has been interested in photography for most of his life. He picked up his first DSLR fourteen years ago when he bought a cheap camera from a friend and is self -taught. Simon loves most aspects of photography but his main passion is architecture which led him to take images of abandoned buildings.
Twitter @suggy67 #AbandonedBritain