Abandoned World Photography Awards

Abandoned World Photography in the News

Most of what I do is done behind closed doors (hehe!) and stays that way. But sometimes, if I feel like a media outlet will portray my urbex adventures in the right light, I will allow engage with them and help them understand and construct an article about urbex and Abandoned World Photography.

I’ve summarised a timeline below of media appearances, starting with the Irish Metro Herald in 2013, right up to getting featured in the West Australian newspaper with a readership of 4.14 million people.

Capture Magazine Photography Award (2021)

In 2021, I was contacted by Capture Magazine to say my Australia urbex portfolio had been given the “Commended” award for the Australasia’s Top Emerging Photographers 2021 competition.

The West Australian Newspaper (2021)

I was very surprised to be contacted by the biggest newspaper in Western Australia by a journalist who was very interested in publishing some of my photos and writing about urbex.

The article was out within two weeks of getting contacted and cited some of the major sites I’d photographed within Perth, a two-page spread on pages 84 and 85. The article was replicated in a few of the smaller papers around Western Australian, such as the Geraldton Times, the Bussleton/Dunsborough Times, the Manjimup Bridgetown Times and more.

This was when I first learned trespassing laws in Perth are very strict. I also learned that the urbex community hated that the newspaper article mentioned the names of abandoned sites that are already on Google, and they grouped together to send me “hate mail” for weeks after the article was published. Fun times!

The Casey Supernatural Show, Melbourne (2021)

Fast forward 8 years and I’m in Perth photographing as many historical buildings as I possibly can. I got in talks with a radio station from Melbourne about participating in their Friday night supernatural show. I made it very clear I wouldn’t be talking about ghosts because I haven’t seen any, but the radio host assured me it was all good, the listeners would still love to hear about the abandoned adventures I have and the places I explore. If you skip halfway into the 20th March segment, you can listen to the recording.

The Metro Herald Newspaper, Ireland (2013)

Abandoned World Photography’s first media appearance was in the Metro Herald, a tabloid newspaper that was served for free to the people of Dublin each morning. I worked for this paper as a journalist whilst completing my last year of college getting my Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, and continued to write for them for the next three years.

My editor-in-chief was a hands down legend and gave me permission to go on quick urbex trips during newsroom shifts, provided I came back with good photographs to show him.

About a year into the job, I was asked to write an article about my urbex adventures for a double-spread article. I was absolutely delighted and jumped at the chance to get some recognition as a serious (but amateur) photographer.

By that stage, my obsession with finding and photographing abandoned historical buildings was full-blown and unstoppable. I’d photographed one of the oldest, abandoned mental asylums in Dublin, a famous power station along the docks, and abandoned swimming pools that had drawn in hundreds and thousands of visitors every year.

Indymedia Response to Metro Herald Article (2013)

Title: Opportunities: OPW must have the ability to upskill the unemployed
Author: Michelle Blake

“Well done Lainey Quinn, a 23-year-old Dubliner who has written a gem about our City’s derelict landmarks for news@metroherald.ie.

Apathy creeps up slowly and suddenly a building fades into the landscape and becomes derelict. How do we stop the process, in particular, where the buildings represent the soul of our society and deserve saving? This can include the boarding up of houses in Moyross in Limerick to the neglect of the former landmark Baggot Street Community hospital once known as the (Royal City of Dublin) hospital. Too easy it is to blame the recession and allow this potential dereliction take over.

Lainey Quinn started off just taking photos, as so many tourists do when they visit Ireland, and she began to value the historical nuances and as often is the case, their historical architectural attributes of the City’s many historical but derelict landmarks.

Shame on us this year of the Gathering 2013. How many emigrants took the boats from Dun Laoghaire decades ago, who now will once more visit. Well done to Lainey’s photo in Monday’s Metro Herald (May 27th 2013) because we now know what they will see and shame on us, (especially at a time when endeavour should create markets), is a shameful dishevelled derelict Dun Laoghaire baths …. these baths were built over 170 years ago. They offered then what people would want now if it was properly marketed to them, the sea, with freshwater, a choice of hot or cold water, sulphur and seaweed baths. They say Dun Laoghaire and Rathdown Co Council are trying to re-develop this remnant of historical times but excuses prevail and opportunities of retaining infra-structure with potential to create employment, tourism promotion, facilities for Dublin in its entirety, are snarled up in the red tape of pure bureaucracy and non-decision. Where is the momentum? The opportunity exists because the labour is cheap and abundant so time to upskill in a positive way using state funds overpaid entities like the Office of Public works and the other relevant semi-state over pampered bodies.

2016 and the anniversary of the Rising are imminent. The photo of the wheels in the abandoned Bolands Mill which was built in the 1830s and which operated as a commercial mill for over 100 years, forms a significant part of the history that changed Ireland into a Republic. It is now that these near-derelict locations written into our history can be preserved and used to promote peace instead of war, as they stand as monuments to the origins of our Republic. Lainey’s photo of the Been and Gun: the Magazine Fort in the Phoenix Park, was built in 1735 and it combines the history of colonial Ireland and potential Republic Ireland. Why, because it was used as a store of the Irish Army’s guns during the 1916 Rising. What an opportunity to upskill young people who are on the dole queues or in St. Patrick’s Institution for young offenders.

Richmond Mental Asylum or the derelict Grangegorman site which was opened in 1814 is the source of another kind of history that we need a reminder of. It is about the lunacy act, mental health and vulnerable people then and now. We need to be reminded because we need to remain learned about mental health and why the stigma applies. The photo taken by Lainey of the grate impinges sharply about the hardship and abandonment of people who were different. The unkempt pile of blankets in the rooms is a record of what happened to people, all over Europe, as well as Ireland in these asylums. The teddy bear covered in moss from Grangegorman is poignant and should find its way to a museum. Baggot Street Hospital is in need of a make-over, maybe we could have a proper medical museum which would aim to de-stigmatise mental health. Soon Grangegorman will be subsumed into a new identity and creation with third-level education being the major provider.

Lainey’s article is worth reading. The photos should be added to this posting but how is up to someone else!. Awareness will create motivation and the time is now to be creative.”