Matt Van der Velde's Project Exposes the USA's Eerie Institutions

By: Riley von Niessen - Sep 20, 2016
References: abandonedasylums &
Matt Van der Velde, a photographer who's based in Ottawa, Ontario, was inclined to lens a series that surrounded abandoned asylums when he had to deal with his own PTSD and depression after he served as an infantry soldier for the Canadian forces.

Prompted to learn more about how mental health has been dealt with throughout history, he took to abandoned asylums around the USA and researched the past of each. What resulted was a telling book, aptly titled 'Abandoned Asylums.' While haunting, the images are stunning to view, with Matt Van der Velde capturing the scenes in expressionistic lights and angling the lens to focus on specific happenings of the past.

Some of the abandoned asylums included in the project have ties to Marilyn Monroe and disturbingly, Charles Manson -- making the imagery and the stories included that much more interesting.