Eerie images show America's deserted theme parks, abandoned shopping malls and forsaken train stations

Seph Lawless has been documenting Americas most abandoned places for 20 years

Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith
Tuesday 07 June 2016 16:10
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Eerie images of America’s most abandoned places, from theme parks to shopping malls and stadiums, have been documented by one photographer hoping to raise awareness of the spaces left behind.

Shopping malls once teeming with people are shown empty with indoor escalators covered in snow, the interior of a once grand theatre is seen empty and derelict, and the busy theme parks of old are seen as a pile of lifeless rubbish and abandoned machinery.

Seph Lawless – who operates under a pseudonym due to the illegal nature of his work – has spent 20 years documenting Americas most abandoned places. He said “the goal is to raise awareness of the social and economic ills that plague my country”.

The interior of an abandoned theatre

“I consider myself an activist before an artist. I believe it's the artist’s responsibility to raise awareness or to challenge the viewer through their artwork, encouraging the viewer to become more engaged with important issues that affect us all,” he said.

He said he has also been the recipient of several lawsuits and been arrested on a number of occasions while carrying out his work.

An abandoned theme park (Seph Lawless)

Mr Lawless’s work is to be featured in a new reality television show called Abandoned, appearing on Viceland. “The first episode takes viewers through an average day of my work and explores some of the most hauntingly beautiful ruins across the US,” he added.

The artist is also branching into drone footage and increasing the amount of 360 videos he creates of abandoned spaces.

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