English photographer Philip Butler ARPS (b. 1980) has set out to document the remains of Great Britain’s inter-war architecture. Amongst these ageing structures lie what is left of the country’s first steps into the Modernist movement. Often in need of sympathetic renovation, occasionally on the brink of demolition, but increasingly seen as important pieces of our heritage, Philip has been capturing what is left of ‘yesterday’s future’ while it remains standing.
“I’ve always been captivated by the progressive architecture of the inter-war years. The architects at the forefront of the Modernist movement took such a huge leap in both concept and aesthetics. I’m fascinated in how this bold European style manifested in the UK, blended with its surroundings and how well the buildings have fared the test of time.”
2019 saw the publication of ‘Odeon Relics’, a photo-book documenting the surviving buildings constructed by the iconic cinema chain in 1930s. This hardback book features Philip’s complete contemporary photo series, period photos by John Maltby and an introduction by architectural writer Jason Sayer.
In addition to this architectural work, Philip harbours a fascination of night-time photography. His forthcoming book the Small Hours brings together a 12-month project capturing artificial light sources after dusk in and around his hometown of Great Malvern.
Philip’s photographs have been published in a number of different magazines and newspapers including C20 Magazine, RPS Journal, La Vangaurdia, Digital Camera, The Modernist and a 2019 online article in the Guardian. He has also contributed an image to Elaine Harwood’s ‘British Art Deco’ published by Batsford.