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Derek Swalwell · WEST


Derek Swalwell is one of our favourite Australian architectural and interiors photographers. Each year, Derek finds himself criss-crossing the equator on various assignments, capturing in his own unique way the most spectacular buildings, houses and hotels across the globe.

Over the past two years, between assignments, Derek has also found time to travel to the USA multiple times on a personal project. The result is WEST, a striking new exhibition of large format photographs taken in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and beyond.


25th April, 2017
Lucy Feagins
Tuesday 25th April 2017

Derek Swalwell is a bit of a legend.  With a career spanning 20 years, he is one of Australia’s best known and most respected commercial photographers. Having started his career as an architectural photographer, these days Derek shoots for architects, property developers and hoteliers across the globe, as well as design publications and high end advertising clients.

At the heart of this prolific creative output, of course, is a personal passion. Derek is driven by a fascination for his subject matter. He is drawn to bustling cities, bold architecture, big skies and expansive landscapes.  First and foremost, Derek is an observer of the world, and his personal projects are what keeps this wide-eyed curiosity alive.

WEST is Derek’s latest exhibition, and presents his unique perspective on the topography and architecture of LA to Las Vegas – the dated buildings, faded palm trees, low-rise cityscapes and sun bleached 80’s colour palette. The images in this series were shot over 2015 and 2016, with Derek making various trips to Los Angeles during this time. Whilst there, he would connect with his ex-assistant Jack (who is now based in LA), then map out the city and surrounds, and shoot!

‘I like shooting in this way’ Derek muses. ‘As a commercial photographer you have to disconnect yourself from your daily commercial work, and indulge yourself in what you love, shooting your own work. It’s your trademark! And keeps you fresh, allowing you to present your real self as a photographer to others.’

WEST opens this Thursday April 27th  – pop in between 6.00pm – 9.00pm for drinks and tacos.

WEST by Derek Swalwell
April 27th until May 11th 2017
JCP studios
51 – 57 Cubitt Street, Cremorne, Melbourne

Photographer Derek Swalwell. Photo – Alex Reinders.

The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email