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Until seven months ago, I lived in or near cities my entire life. From Saint Louis, Missouri to Manhattan, New York to Perth, WA – the metropolises I called home shaped me. I feel alive when ensconced in the familiar sights and sounds of urban areas. I enjoy the cultural and culinary trappings of cities, but more than anything, the variety and density of people in cities is what endears them to me.
My family and I willingly relocated to Coolgardie and to a certain extent we knew what we were getting ourselves into. However, I never could have prepared myself for the emptiness of this former mining boom town. The open spaces and vacant (seemingly abandoned in the middle of the night… twenty years ago) buildings are dissonant enough, but the lack of people is almost numbing. I spent hours each day walking around Coolgardie when I first moved here and would easily come across less than five people. I certainly pass other cars on the forty kilometre stretch of road between Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie, but not a single dwelling, just abandoned or soon to be abandoned mines.
Yet, something strange has happened. I have grown to love this nearly forgotten patch of Western Australia. The way that the iron rich soil strikes the vivid icy blue of the sky on a sun drenched day is breathtaking. In my photography I have become enamoured with the process of physical decay; I have never seen so much rusting metal and faded signage. This series of pictures is a tribute to my new home, Coolgardie and its surrounds, the Goldfields. Even though I will always be a city boy at heart, the simple beauty that I have come to see in the Goldfields has taken a part of me and it isn’t ready to let go.
Jordan Davis is a photographer, based in Coolgardie, WA.