The Lost Collective: Brett Pattman’s Obsession With Photographing Forgotten Structures

Brett Pattman has been tapping into his inner explorer for the past seven years, documenting his incredible findings on his blog the ‘Lost Collective.’

By Caitlin Hennessy


 

The Lost Collective

White Bay Power Station. ©The Lost Collective

 

There’s something nostalgic in exploring the intricacies of old buildings, like a childish necessity to discover the unknown. Brett Pattman has been tapping into his inner explorer for the past seven years, documenting his incredible findings on his blog the ‘Lost Collective’.

 

“Every location has a story of its past; it’s present state and in some cases plans for the future”

 

Each image provides an intrigue into what caused a building to become abandoned and the life that circulated through its walls. A running theme through Brett’s images is the way that nature reclaims it’s space, little sprouts of greenery through cracked concrete floors to whole windows intertwined with vines, weaving life into an otherwise comatose structure.

 

The Lost Collective

Wangi Wangi Power Station. ©The Lost Collective

 

The Lost Collective

Family School Fureai. ©The Lost Collective

 

The Lost Collective

Ashio Copper Mine. ©The Lost Collective

 

“Brett grew an obsession with photographing structures in a state of limbo, beautifully capturing a process of nature reclaiming its property or buildings waiting to be torn down.”

 

The meet point of Brett and his photography subjects came about during his work as a call out service technician. He began noticing how many abandoned buildings still resided in Sydney and Melbourne. His aim was to create a database recording the heritage of a society that is now focused on replacing the old with the new. “Every location has a story of its past; it’s present state and in some cases plans for the future,” explains Brett. His images span from rural country towns and farmsteads to abandoned power stations.

 

The Lost Collective

Kinugawa Kan. ©The Lost Collective

 

The Lost Collective

White Bay Power Station. ©The Lost Collective

 

The Lost Collective

Mountain View Homestead. ©The Lost Collective

 

Brett grew an obsession with photographing structures in a state of limbo, beautifully capturing a process of nature reclaiming its property or buildings waiting to be torn down. Unlike historical cities like Berlin, where it’s become a right of passage to break into abandoned structures left behind from Soviet times, Australia is relatively new to urban exploring. But Brett is bringing the beauty of lost sites into the public viewing arena and creating a database of sorts for historic abandoned buildings. The feedback of his collective has garnered such positive commentary that people who used to work on the sites he has photographed are beginning to post on his Facebook with stories of how they used to look. In one situation people who used to work at the site got back in contact with one another after 30 years.

 

The Lost Collective

Kinugawa Kan. ©The Lost Collective

 

The Lost Collective

Kinugawa Kan. ©The Lost Collective

 

The Lost Collective

Portland Cement Works. ©The Lost Collective

 

The Lost Collective is now mainly focusing on photographing and then researching buildings that are set for restoration. Brett hopes his site acts as a symbol for building restoration advocacy, giving the places he photographs new life and a taste of the dignity they once possessed.