Gina Soden: Fine Art Photography

At the heart of Gina Soden’s photography is a preoccupation with abandoned structures and locations. Based in London, she travels widely to undisclosed sites throughout Europe and 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.

Art in Ruins

Rather than taking a documentary approach, Soden breathes a sense of life into the scenes, 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 derelict asylums, long since closed schools, ex-military compounds and famous city power stations 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.

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. Like the Romantic poets before her, Soden offers room to reflect on more romantic notions of beauty and a sense of calmness despite collapse and structural devastation.

Kate Bryan
Arts Broadcaster and Head of Collections Soho House and Co

Exhibition and Award Overview

In 2021 Soden took part in a month long artist residency at Villa Lena in Tuscany, Italy. She was invited to co-host two Makeathons at Soho House White City and Soho Farmhouse. Soden was invited by Rankin and WaterAid to transform a toilet seat into a work of art to raise awareness of the 1 in 5 people who don’t have access to decent toilets. She took part in The Auction Collectives live Instagram auction raising money for The Flip Flopi with her work Klinik and exhibited in their Top 100 exhibition in Brixton.

In 2020 Soden photographed locations in the UK, France and in Germany where she ended the week long trip by exhibiting her “How Long is Now” series in Berlin which was hosted by Artyque art agency. She exhibited with The Art Buyer in Putney in their Autumn Show. She was featured in Glossary Magazine as one of Kate Bryans 7 rising British art stars. She was longlisted for the Royal Academy Summer Show and was selected by Tabish Khan to virtually exhibit her work in the ING Discerning Eye annual exhibition. She hosted two Open Studio events at her studio in Reading.

In 2019 works from the Corrodium series were selected by Charlie Smith Gallery to be exhibited in a group show “Archaeologies” curated by Zavier Ellis, featuring Michael Boffey and Danny Treacy. She was also invited to speak about her work at the Pall Mall Royal Automobile Club.

In 2018 Soden won UK Artist of The Year and Photographer of the Year in the Rise Art Prize. She was commissioned by Soho House to produce new works for the collections in Barcelona, New York, London and Amsterdam. She was also commissioned by Hoxton Hotel to produce works for their new hotel in Paris. She produced a new series, Ingresso which was exhibited at The Other Art Fair as part of the Not 30% exhibition. In September she was selected to exhibit at The Art Car Boot Fair.

In 2017 Soden was commissioned by The Ned hotel and members club to produce artworks for 130 bedrooms of the hotel.  She also produced an original artwork using archival imagery from the former bank which is now in Vault 100 permanent collection curated by Kate Bryan. Selected works from across all of her series were selected by Blacks Club for a solo exhibition in March.

In 2016 works from the Palac and Emergence series were selected by Eleven Gallery to display at the second edition of the International art fair, Photo London held at Somerset House in May. At the Other Art Fair she was selected to present new works from Incremento series and released the limited edition print series Kaleidoscope. She won The Secret Art Prize in August with her piece Les Histoires.

In 2015 Soden exhibited her Palac series at London’s Eleven Gallery in a joint show with Natasha Kissell entitled Falls The Shadow. Key works from Retrogression were shown in the group exhibition Filling the Void at the K35 Gallery in Moscow. Mead Carney Gallery exhibited 2 works from her Palac series at the Art15 fair in London. She exhibited brand new works in the April and October editions of The Other Art Fair, with her work finding it’s way into special collections.


In 2014 Soden was awarded a place by the selection committee for both the April and October editions of The Other Art Fair. She won The Naylor Award (1st prize) for the Finest Photograph in The National Open Art Competition. She also featured in BBC1’s Inside Out which documented the competition – the largest of its kind in the UK.

In 2013 Soden’s work was shown by The Fine Art Society at Pulse Art Fair in New York, The London Art Fair in Islington, Art13 Fair at Olympia and she was awarded Finest Work on Show at The Photo Art Fair in London. At the end of the year, Soden was awarded Emerging Artist of the Year in The National Open Art Competition.

In 2012 Soden was a finalist in the Practical Photography Magazine Annual Award. She exhibited work as part of Signal 8 summer exhibition at The Space in Hong Kong.

In 2011 Soden was commissioned by The Cat Street Gallery in Hong Kong to produce work for Art Smile, a group show featuring a host of international artists to benefit the charity, Operation Smile. She exhibited in 100 Artists for Pride, in the Brighton Arts Festival and in Spring 2010 Soden was awarded photograph of the year by the Royal Windsor Photographic Society.