At the heart of Gina Soden’s photography is a preoccupation with abandoned structures and locations. Travelling widely to undisclosed sites throughout Europe, she explores the boundaries of beauty, decay, nostalgia and neglect. The genesis of each piece is often the unique architectural character of each location, heightened by their painfully slow transformation after years of abandonment.
The work is underscored by the potential controversy of gaining unlicensed access to the out of bounds areas. Every image is a product of a journey, referring both to the physical demands of gaining entry and to the passing of time which is evident in the abandoned locations.
Rather than taking a documentary approach, Soden breathes a sense of life into the scenes through her photography, hinting at narrative with studied compositions. Characteristically each image has a distinctly painterly aesthetic, side stepping the tendency that photography has for observational and distanced looking.
Soden’s approach is lyrical and directs the viewer to explore the concepts of time and memory. The compositions feature abandoned buildings in various stages of decay. The results are striking and poignant, at once both edgy in their contemporary aesthetic and nostalgic in their ruinous beauty.
National Biennale: Leicester 2014