Tides 3: Pier to Marina
This group exhibition showcases the eastern seafront area from Brighton Palace Pier to Brighton Marina. It incorporates Sea Life Brighton, Black Rock, Madeira Terrace and the Marina itself. When we began this project, the seafront area was in decline and parts of it were very run-down. When the pandemic hit us and we went into lockdown it all felt very downbeat. However, businesses have resumed and visitors are back. Rejuvenation work on Black Rock is now well under way and a phased restoration project for Madeira Terrace has also begun. Our images show the diversity of the area, from aquarium life to people at work and play. They also show our very different responses to an area which is in transition and which we hope is moving towards a brighter and more sustainable future.
My images were all taken in Brighton Marina at various times through 2020 and 2021. During the pandemic and the first lockdown, it felt as if the Marina had retreated into itself, into a kind of hibernation. Only gradually did it emerge and show signs of coming back to life. This project conveys both the sense of retreat and the gradual opening up. It also shows the ambivalence and contradictions inherent in the Marina’s hidden away spaces.
Down the Drive
My images represent a kind of walk down Madeira drive from Palace Pier to Black Rock and beyond, the people who use it and the environment that shapes it. This area is a quieter than the main strip between the piers. A space to breathe, walk and rest. A place that’s a little rundown and tatty but in the process of being transformed, ending in the Marina - a strange area aiming to be a utopia of “chic shopping [a] hub with fashion boutiques, galleries, and craft shops, plus casual eateries with terraces overlooking the water”.
My work aims to evoke emotional responses from overlooked places examined close up.
Exploring the marina, I became attracted to the surface of a particular concrete wall. The wall is 1.5 metres high and 400 metres long, running along the entrance to an underground car park.
A wall can be a barrier but this one became a gateway to an adventure into the unknown world of my imagination.
Detailed close-up shots of the drab, grey concrete result in images with an ambiguity of scale that conceal the context of the subject matter and reveal a world of textures, colours, rhythms and subtleties which allude to other worldly landscapes. My aim is to create beautiful, fascinating and intriguing images out of this unlikely subject matter.
In the spirit of the previous Tides exhibitions, I have taken portraits of people who either work in or have been enjoying events along the Madeira Drive. I always have a quick chat to explain why I would like to take their picture and how it may be displayed. These people are not posed as such but I ask the subject to stand in a suitable area where they take up a natural position. I wanted the selected pictures to convey a positive feeling of the area and of the regeneration taking place.
The Volks railway has been a much loved presence on the Black Rock part of the seafront since the initial 19th century development of the area. I was particularly drawn to the colourful coastal flowers which thrive alongside the tracks and soften the hard lines of the metal. I worked with a fisheye lens to highlight these details and capture and condense the panoramic view so as to give a sense of this unique little journey between the Palace Pier and Marina stations.
Along Madeira Drive
Finding inspiration from the great street and humanist photographers of yesteryear, I choose to work in the medium of black and white to introduce a similar feel to my own photography. My four photographs as part of the Tides 3 exhibition were all made along the historic Madeira Drive… Running parallel to the seafront it’s an area of Brighton known for leisure activities, a place to enjoy life, so I chose to highlight that aspect in three of the images (Raise Your Hands, Fly by Wire, Serve). My fourth, Workers on the Beach, shows the preparation for one of the many events regularly held on those famous pebbles. It also serves as a tribute to the efforts behind the regeneration of this part of Brighton, vital work that will help keep the city a destination for fun seekers for generations more to come.
Quiet times on Brighton Beach
I’m a Brighton-based photographer, Associate of the Royal Photographic Society and a member of both Brighton & Hove and Steyning Camera Clubs.
Brighton is known for its hustle and bustle but the area east of the Palace Pier to the marina is much quieter. It has been overlooked and run down for years and consequently attracted fewer visitors. With the current programme of development and regeneration this will no doubt change.
I have tried to show in my photos the current quietness and calm around the large expanse of mostly empty beach before these changes take place.
Decline and Restoration
My four images reflect both the demise and the ongoing restoration of Madeira Drive and parts of the Marina. I’ve used reality and metaphor to express my disappointment and sadness at the decline as well as my hope for the restoration.
I am a native Brightonian, photographer and digital artist.
I have exhibited many time - both solo and in groups over the last thirty years. Most recently during this year’s Brighton Festival Open Houses at Gallery 40.
For last few years I’ve been exploring different art styles and the way they can be applied to local subjects.
My work is always a two-part-process. I start with digital or film photos – then work them into new forms dependent upon the results I’m after.
In this exhibition I'm showing four pictures of Jellyfish all taken at Brighton Sea Life Centre.
These pictures are photo montages, each a combination of several photos. They have been treated to become ‘Tinted Cyanotypes’ which I hope conveys an ethereal feeling that I think jelly fish engender.