Investigates photography and the British seaside
This major exhibition looks at the relationship between photography and the British seaside from the 1850s to the present. Images of the beach, hotel life, the holiday camp, dressing up and dressing down, wild waves and coastlines all combine to create a rich picture of British resorts.
As well as featuring the work of photographers including Jane Bown, Henri Cartier Bresson, Vanley Burke, Anna Fox, Susan Hiller, Paul Nash, Martin Parr, and Ingrid Pollard, the curators have included rich and often unknown work from across photography’s history, including Raymond Lawson’s remarkable chronicle of family life in Whitstable.
Daniel Meadows, Barry Lewis and Dafydd Jones all photographed at Butlins in the 1970s and Grace Robertson records the raucous goings-on of a women’s day out to the coast in the 1950s. Enzo Ragazzini captures the anarchy of the 1970 Isle of Wight festival, while Stuart Griffiths makes a bleak narrative of the 1990 rave scene in Brighton. Composer Benjamin Britten and tenor Peter Pears, partners in music and in life, created a haven by the sea that they preserved in photographs.
In April 2019 the WILD Young Parent’s Project, in partnership with Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange, commissioned photographer Steve Tanner to work with the Mums and Dads in their West Cornwall groups to investigate their relationship to the sea. What is the reality for them of living in this remote, rural county that so many people escape to on holiday? The project concluded in December 2020 with an invitation to poet Ella Frears to work with the Mums and Dads to capture their thoughts and feeling in print. The outcomes of this sustained partnership form a new addition to the main exhibition.
Curated by Val Williams and Karen Shepherdson, Seaside: Photographed is a touring exhibition organised by Turner Contemporary; with support from Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Fund.