My photography career started in a beer-soaked mosh pit where I shot the underground heavy metal scenes in Vancouver and Toronto starting in 2001.

Over the next ten years I spent much time travelling to abandoned and forgotten parts of North America, from the ghost towns of Atlantic Canada to the post-Katrina ruins of New Orleans to the neglected Inuit communities of the Canadian Arctic. I was drawn in by the bleakness and sadness of these societies, contrasted with the beauty and resilience of their people and natural environments.

In 2014 I moved to Wisconsin, USA where I'm a Computer Science graduate student at UW Madison. This is the ideal setting to indulge in my fascination with the American Rust Belt and provide amazing photo opportunities for the years ahead.



Photography should be informative but it also needs to look good. I use pictures to tell stories from the past and ask questions about the future. I want my photos to be uncomfortable, analytical, and beautiful. I use long exposures and pinhole lenses to fudge optics and create a sense of surrealism. My ongoing work, "Abandon", examines collapse in human societies, comparing downfalls of past societies with ongoing problems in the present.

Mark Coatsworth Portrait