Kate Berry is 27 and only started getting serious about photography about 3 years ago.

“I’ve never studied photography but before I went travelling I decided to buy a DSLR and teach myself how to use it. 15 months in amazing countries was plenty of inspiration so my passion really lies in travel photography but I also love street photography/ urban detail, portraiture, documentary photography…. I’ll take everything really, aside from fashion, which is weird as that’s what I studied.”

When asked why she takes photographs Berry responded ” It’s all about capturing what others don’t see, taking something mundane and making it into a beautiful image. One of my other photography friends always talks about “making” a photo not “taking” one – more applicable to him as he uses film and a darkroom, but still – it is about taking what’s there and creating a great image from it.”

This following series comprises photographs taken about four weeks ago at the now derelict West Park Asylum in Epsom.

“My architect mate had heard of the place and wondered if I was up for a taste of “urban exploration”- something the kids go crazy for it seems, they really do take it seriously on the forums online. Anyway we had no idea if we could get in or not and were shitting it after reading stories about some security guard nicknamed “The Hammer”, but luck was on our side and we managed to climb through an open window and spend about 3 hours in there. It was incredible. The place was built in the 20s and back in the day housed over 2000 patients, but it’s been abandoned since the 90s. It literally looks like it’s just been left, like everyone suddenly fled. It’s incredible how a place just deteriorates like that as soon as it’s exposed to the elements. It’s sad really and it makes me think of all the patients, I guess in a way they were also left to deteriorate. Asylums like that don’t have the best reps when it comes to patient care and I’m sure a lot of them didn’t even suffer from mental illness, doctors just didn’t know what to do with them.”

Kate Berry