Are we there yet?
The intangible nostalgia and retrospection that the seaside evokes; a quality buried deep in the public’s consciousness. A place to escape, a space to think, clear your head and clarify thoughts in a world busier and more connected than ever.
And yet, the onset of affordable air travel five decades ago marked the steady demise of many UK coastal towns. Communities suffered an identity crisis, with many witnessing extreme social breakdown.
The humble British seaside town, once so intrinsic to our identity, struggles for relevancy. Returning to these once majestic towns; environments and spaces once filled with pleasure and now blighted by unemployment, drug abuse and crime, is truly powerful and drives home the need to highlight the social issues involved.
This social breakdown is at the very core of my creative practice and I’m driven to understand the causes; contextual qualities that give my practice substance and a clear line of questioning into what continues to hold these forgotten communities back and what steps need to be put in place. Furthermore, what will the impact of political decisions such as Brexit have on these fragile regions and why, in this current climate, should the survival of these communities matter?
As we age, so too do our recollections. Nostalgia is tainted by life; a continually evolving retrospection.
These sentimental recollections and memories are part of who we are, at an individual level. Every person, regardless of age, gender, social background or status, has their imagination curiously awakened when thinking of the sea.
Early concepts and ideas, developed originally in order to help achieve a strong blend of contextual values together with an appreciation of the aesthetic - colour, tone and composition, has developed into an approach that, potentially, could sustain a lifetime of practice.