With an upcoming trip to Italy being the sole thing on my mind lately, my web browser history and Pinterest page seem to be pure evidence of this. And then I stumbled upon the work of Gina Soden. Her latest body of work, titled Decandenza, is stunning. Soden chooses to portray beauty, instead of the gloom often associated with decay. Capturing the color, light, and tranquility of these neglected spaces, Decadenza is all about beautiful abandonment…

It seems we are fascinated by crumbling disrepair these days. A rise in the art movement known as “ruin porn” can be seen in the aptly-named exhibit Ruin Lust, which just opened yesterday at the Tate Britain. Perhaps we love that feeling of oasis that comes from a solitary, abandoned space. Or maybe it’s because we can use our childlike imagination to fill in the picture of what was once there. My particular fascination for ruin lies in Southern Europe. English photographer Gina Soden takes us on a journey through Italy’s past and time-worn present, as she captures some of the country’s crumbling and derelict social and cultural sites. While she reminds us that the passing of time is inescapable, and that nothing lasts forever, she does so by focusing on the romanticism and nostalgia that can linger in the colorful cracking paint. Decadenza is currently on display at the Rise Art Gallery in Fitzrovia, London, along with images of old school rooms and abandoned asylums.

Rise Art Gallery
83 Great Titchfield Street, 
London W1W 6RH
Tube: Goodge Street
19 February – 9 April, 2014 
[Photo credit: Gina Soden]