Phil Girven has been exploring abandoned buildings for over 20 years; he became fascinated with forgotten places at the age of 14, after visiting a huge, derelict mental asylum not far from his home.
He continued his interest in visiting deserted locations and in 2013, after realising these structures are ever-changing and gradually disappearing, he decided to make a record of his experiences using the medium of photography. Starting out originally with a humble camera phone he is entirely self-taught; what initially began as a hobby has now become an obsession.
For him the work he produces evoke many emotions of that particular day, every time he ventures out to explore the adventure begins. He has been caught by police in France, chased by a man with a pitchfork, threatened by a farmer with a shotgun and fallen through a floor, to name but a few memorable occasions.
Excitement, trepidation, fear and wonder are some of the many feelings he encounters.
Phil Girven’s work is a permanent reminder of his journey and a record of the beauty that can be found in such desolate and unloved buildings. It is his passion, eye for detail and inherent aptitude that gives his artwork an ethereal quality and the ability to tell a story. Each place has a past, sometimes tragic; this is why their stories need to be told.