Abandoned: Empty Shops



Urban landscape.

Folio (folded) – 24 pp
21 cm x 27 cm
Albumen Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-7391990-1-2


One day, while whiling away time in between lunch and dinner, like so many others in Melbourne, I walked down a street that I knew would be full of life and activity. My aim was to make some interesting pictures of the activity, it was St. Patrick’s Day. While Australia is relatively secular by world standards, there are enough Irish visitors and distant relatives of the Irish immigrants integral to our history to make the day busy. It was also the weekend. My wanderings didn’t amount to a great deal pictorially, but at some point afterwards one image caught my eye. It was of an empty shop, with green walls and a contrasting purple set of stairs strewn with some detritus at the rear, photographed using my smartphone, for a variety of reasons.

For whatever reason this image struck a chord with me, perhaps the colour, perhaps the objects strewn on the floor, whatever, it seemed a pleasing image. As I scrolled though my digital archive a few days after, I started to notice other empty shops I’d photographed prior to this one, most likely subconsciously.

All had a similar composition. It then dawned on me it may be possible to create a body of work that examined this phenomenon of empty shops, after all, Australia at this point was meant to be weathering the GFC quite well. Yet these shops were not difficult to find.