Cooperative of Photography

The Beauty in Abandonment


James Kerwin is a fine art photographer from Norwich, UK. After 6 years behind the camera shooting in a variety of genres, he turned his attention to architecture photography.

His 2014 series “Decadence” marked his first project on abandoned buildings. Three years on and he has built up an impressive portfolio of interior and location photography, and hosted two large exhibitions in his home city. For his PROFOLIO, he comments on photos from a number of his projects.

COOPH James Kerwin 01 Decadence


“This was my first series, undertaking the subject of shooting derelict architecture. Entitled ‘Decadence’ after my first Exhibition in Norwich in 2015, the synonym of the word relating to the series is ‘moral or cultural decline as characterized by excessive indulgence in pleasure or luxury’ which certainly rings true.” 

COOPH James Kerwin 02 Neglected


“James’ second series, compiled whilst shooting neglected and disused architecture.

The images here were created in locations across Europe, from former palaces in Italy and Poland to disused structures in France and Belgium. Entitled ‘Neglected’ a word that came to me whilst shooting in France, meaning not receiving proper attention; or disregarded.”

COOPH James Kerwin 03 Domum Dei

Domum Dei 

“A movement away from attending church has been ongoing for several decades now and the numbers of churches, chapels and other religious buildings that are closing their doors every year is increasing. In this series entitled ‘Domum Dei’ (simply meaning house of god in Latin), I take a look at just a small handful of the forgotten and derelict churches, chapels and religious buildings across Europe.”

COOPH James Kerwin 04 Hidden


“Cities and towns across the globe hide some of the most fantastic architectural gems from spiral staircases to disused power station control rooms. Many of these structures we walk past every day, unaware of their photographic potential. This is a selection of my work, shot in cities across Europe and beyond throughout 2016 and 2017.”

COOPH James Kerwin 05 Fora Dos Limites


“Everywhere you go there [in Portugal] are abandoned houses, hotels and apartments with many of the buildings also looking like they were going to fall apart. I quickly found out that it was because of the finance crisis and because of this, a high unemployment rate, which in turn leads to dereliction. This is a series of images that I started shooting in late 2016 over in Portugal that will continue into 2017, entitled ‘Fora Dos Limites’, or in English ‘Out of bounds’.”

COOPH James Kerwin 06 Scorned


“Scorned, is to treat or regard with contempt or disdain or refuse to do something because one is too proud, such as repair and replace. This is a 2017 derelict and abandoned architecture series shot across Europe and will include images from France, Romania, UK and Ireland.“

COOPH James Kerwin 07 Scorned

“With a primary focus of capturing rich colour palettes and straight lines in the camera, I then like to take the raw photograph and use modern post processing techniques on it to produce each completed image.”

COOPH James Kerwin 08 Fora Dos Limites

“Travel plays a huge part in my image making, having visited ten countries in the last twelve months alone and it is this passion for travel combined with my love for photography that keeps me motivated and passionate about the work that I create.”

Written by Michael Griessler

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