Close to Home: Between the Tides at Vortigern Gallery, Margate

Close to Home: Between the Tides was exhibited at the Vortigern Gallery in Margate throughout March-April 2016. It featured my work made at the extraordinary walpole bay tidal pool, sited close to my home on the coastal Isle of Thanet, UK.

This pool, some four acres in size, provides a free and democratic space for people to gather, to swim, to forage and fish. In my practice of working locally, I adapt the traditions and performance of earlier commercial seaside/beach photographers and in doing so locates myself right at the water’s edge. This is slow photography – analogue picture making – which necessitates a relationship between the seabather and the photographer. Through this series I'm attempting to examine how the local can provide rich seams of imagery or produce what neo-romantics such as Vaughan Williams have championed as the ‘vitally parochial’.

SALT: Festival of the Sea & Environment

I was invited to co-curate SALT: Festival of the Sea & Environment with Allegra Galvin from Folkestone Quarterhouse and Di Dever of Folkestone Fringe. Over four days from 21 - 24 October, 2016, SALT presented talks, walks, sea swims, workshops, foraging, installations, theatre shows, exhibitions and sought to explore the coastal communities and environment.  The Festival was supported by Canterbury Christ Church University, the Quarter House and an award made to me by the Creative Foundation's Festival Fund. (The images for the Festival shown here are a mixture from our Festival photographer, Shaun Vincent and a few  generous snaps taken during the Festival prep'.)

When originally invited to co-curate this timely Festival it was without any hesitation that I said yes. As the co-director for CCCU's Centre for Research on Communities and Cultures and director of the South East Archive of Seaside Photography, I immediately recognised that the collaboration could prove utterly beneficial. This Festival was never simply or crassly about taking knowledge out to this very specific, very beautiful coastal community - rather it was always intended to be a genuine exchange of knowledge(s), understandings, enthusiasms and passions.

Coastal communities matter... Our coastlines, our seas, our marine environment matter and should be high on the national agenda. Salt: Sea & Environment Festival  provided a plethora of ways in which to gather, to discuss and to consider our complex connections with the coast.

sea bathers: reflections and responses

EVENT: SEA BATHERS: Reflections & Responses

24th May 2015

An engaging day of events considering how creatives and communities reflect and respond to the sea and sea bathing. Following a morning of talks and presentations at Turner Contemporary, in Margate, there will be an opportunity to view the stunning Walpole Bay Tidal Pool through a yurt transformed into a magical camera obscura; visit the itinerant studio of tintype photographer Rob Ball; meet Dom Bridges and the Margate Sea Bathing Machine prototype and for those hardy enough, join Susie Parr and the Walpole Bay Swimmers for a tidal pool dip.