An exploration of Three Kids Mine on the outskirts of Las Vegas, NV.
What started out as another gallery for an ongoing series of post-apocalyptic photography that I’ve been working on for some time, recently took an interesting turn thanks to a couple of creative people whom I’ve been collaborating with for a while now.
I had been discussing the idea of publishing the collection in three different parts on three different websites, with ApocalypsGuys.com founder Jerome Andries and Chris Nielsen of Barren Magazine when Chris dropped the idea of doing a photo essay in the mix.
I thought about it for 10 seconds and decided I would give it a shot.
The location that I’m presenting is a fascinating location, not more than 10 minutes drive from my house, but it sits in the middle of a desolate and inhospitable desert landscape.
During my preliminary research to learn more about this place I found out that the site was originally a manganese mine. Originally started around 1917 during WWI the mine was called The Three Kids Mine. I can’t figure out why it was called that.
Through the years leading up to WWI the mine was expanded and production increased. Giant pool like vats for processing the raw ore were added and the entire site looks like something out of a science fiction movie. In fact the site was used as a location in two separate movies after it was closed permanently in 1961.
The graffiti started sometime around 2012 by a Las Vegas street artist / activist that goes by the handle Aware_Indecline. He created a monster exhibit in called “Wheel of Misfortune” which covered the entire floor of a single pool / vat. I estimated the square footage of that mural and it appears to encompass an area of almost 10,000 square feet.
The entire history of the graffiti park is not currently documented anywhere that I can find online, so I’ll continue researching it and sharing tidbits of information as they reveal themselves to me.
The first time I noticed the location I was driving to Lake Mead on another photo shoot. I’ve driven past that spot dozens of times before, but the day I noticed it, the graffiti caught my eye from the road and I slowed to see what it was. Not seeing much from the road I continued on to my shoot, but told my wife I would go back soon and explore the area to see what it was.
Months went by and I was out driving around looking for a spot to shoot some night photography, and I remembered that spot. So I went out there, walked out into the desert and there was a structure totally covered in graffiti. I was nervous about being there, so I only stayed a short time, but managed to get some pretty cool photos.
Not satisfied with the few shots I got, and knowing there was more to the place, I decided to go back out a couple months later, this time during the day. And was completely blown away by the scale of the compound, but even more so by the scope of the artwork that now covers the entire site.
Every time I go on a shooting expedition I have a simple plan in mind. My focus is to document locations that are not often visited by others, find landscapes that have a certain look to them, and embody the visual spirit of a post-apocalyptic world. My tagline is Radioactive – Massively Creative, Explosive Design. This whole obsession with nuclear war, armageddon, the apocalypse or end of the world was inspired at a very young age and I’ve only recently begun the journey of capturing this vision with my photography.
(This photo set is part one of three from a collection of almost 40 images, and is being published on three different websites. The first set was released in early April and was published on the apocalyptic themed website apocalypseguys.com. The second set is what you are looking at here on BarrenMagazine.com and the remaining shots will be published on my personal website.)
Landscape photographer living in Southern Nevada. Creator of AtomicDesert.com a post-apocalyptic themed website that includes photography, videos and recipes. Also founder of AMI Studios, a website design and digital marketing firm providing services to small and medium size businesses in Southern Nevada and California.