The Things Coolgardie Left Behind
Coolgardie, Western Australia is a fascinating place, not so much for what it is, but for what it was. It was at the forefront of the gold mining boom in this part of the country and used to be home to multiple banks, bars, and brothels… well over a hundred years ago. In more recent times, precious metals continued to be mined in the shire, but much of the activity and supporting industries vanished. It seems that when people leave this town they do so quickly; not bothering to remove cars, take down signs, clear storefront displays, or dismantle purpose- built sheds. All of the left behind things give a nod to the title of ghost town that Coolgardians wears with an ironic pride. But to me, these patches of grass littered with oxidised metal evoke memories of Chernobyl-esque desertion. The evidence of humanity is clear but so is the apparent need to have made a hasty departure. When I poke around these echoes of what Coolgardie once was I rarely feel distress for what the town has become; I just wonder why anyone would mar the countryside with such unconstructive intent.
Jordan Davis is a photographer, based in Coolgardie, WA.