In his series, Life After, photographer Kenny Allan explores abandoned buildings and places in Scotland to see what life might be like once humans have long gone.
Prior to becoming fascinated in this genre, Kenny was interested in landscapes, until 2015, when he discovered an abandoned torpedo testing site on Loch Long and the ancient ruins of Buchanan Castle. "Intrigued, I decided to challenge myself to move away from the landscapes I had previously been capturing, and strip away preconceived and stereotypical notions of beauty, grapple with this new subject, lifting the stone to see what lay beneath," he told Creative Boom.
"From Neolithic burial chambers and ancient domestic settlements to grand Victorian villas scattered along our coastline, human beings have always left their mark on the natural environment. Yet these fade through the centuries, nature often reclaiming that space as time marches relentlessly on.
"I wanted these photographs to stop time. To open a door through which you walk as a viewer, all becoming still around you. These works allow you to see the beauty which lies within the brutality, decay and dereliction in Scotland. Both intimate and alienating at the same time, the photographs allow you to contemplate the composition and begin to construct your own narrative for the image."
Born in Newport-on-Tay, Fife, Scotland in 1965, Kenny was given his first camera at the age of 10 years old, making photography an integral and ever-present part of his life. Today, he's the founder and creative director of El Studio – a business he established in 2008 after 20 years in the graphic design industry, working in London, Bilbao and Glasgow.
"In recent years I wanted to spend more time and revisit my lifelong passion for photography," Kenny continues. "Initially, I concentrated on landscape work. I learnt that I must be prepared to make relentless journeys to the same location, sit silently in awakening dawns, endure unforgiving climates, climb snow-capped mountains and discover hidden places. To be patient.
"In 2016 I challenged myself to create my first comprehensive collection of work, capturing the beauty of abandonment within our landscape that has been left behind. This series of work became ‘Life After’."
The series features five different locations across Scotland, including Polphail, TA Building, Torpedo Testing Site, Anonymous House and Buchanan Castle.
"Anonymous House was a fascinating discovery. I had been told the lady of the house, left Scotland for America, 30 or 40 years ago, leaving all her possessions and the door unlocked. In driving rain and screaming wind I found the villa in dark, dense woodland.
"Cautiously, I tried the door and yes it was unlocked. I entered with torchlight, carefully and slowly studying the contents of each room. Empty suitcases lay throughout, indicating she was going to pack but decided against it. As I climbed the stairs my torch shone on a set of false teeth lying on top of a tin. An old doctors bag lay discarded in a bedroom, where the bed had been made. Through research, I found out she was a doctor that resided in Manhattan but is now deceased."