I’m very fond of the British seaside. Not so much in a twee “OMG, let’s take photos and eat candyfloss!” kind of way – although that can be fun – but because there is so much to genuinely love about these former tourist traps, with their juxtaposed tackiness and architectural charm. I spent a lot of my childhood holidaying in Britain, as opposed to going on package holidays to places like Tenerife or The Costa del Sol. I felt quite envious of my classmates, who got to travel on an aeroplane and were guaranteed sunshine but, looking back, I think that spending rainy days in a caravan in Scotland and having trips out to Morecambe, Southport and Blackpool has made me feel more connected to the place where I was born. As I got older, I began to romanticise the typical English seaside resort because of their mix of joy, despair and faded grandeur. Of course this is present in a lot of small towns, but with the harshness of winter and idyll of summer by the coast, these extremes seem…amplified. This isn’t just some abstract feeling I have either. Although there are exceptions to this trend in prosperous locations, such as Brighton and Poole, the traditional British seaside town has long been in decline – offering the kind of unfashionably kitsch holiday that belongs to your granny and granddad’s halcyon days. A recent report called ‘Turning The Tide‘ details the deprivation present in the UK’s coastal towns – including the ones which haven’t been totally deserted by tourists. In a lot of these towns, the grand old hotels have since been converted into bedsits that are full of transients. Although I will always have a soft spot for Blackpool in particular, the reality of life there is pretty grim. In the series ‘Pierdom’, Simon Roberts focuses on Britain’s iconic Victorian piers, and his lens captures my feelings about these places perfectly. From wind-bitten, rusting structures to sun-bathed promenades, his photographs evoke the curious charm and essence of the British seaside.Hastings, East Sussex
More of Simon Roberts’ brilliant photography is on his website – there are more photographs from the Pierdom series, and you should also have a look at another project he has done called ‘We English‘, which focuses on English tourism in a much broader context.
Posted in Culture, Design, Lifestyle, Photography, Writing
Tagged 2013, aesthetic, architecture, beach, beaches, Blackpool, Britain, British beach, Britishness, caravan, childhood, community, cool, Costa del Sol, creative, creativity, decline, deprivation, design, England, entertainment, faded grandeur, family holidays, funfair, geography, holidays, identity, kitsch, Lancashire, leisure, Leonie Cumiskey, memoir, memories, nostalgia, nostalgic, oh we do like to be beside the seaside, old fashioned, opinion, patriotism, personal, photography, piers, retro, romance, Scotland, seaside resort, Simon Photography, Simon Roberts, structure, tacky, tourism, towns, tradition, UK
These artists have used sweet treats as the basis for their art works, and I don’t just mean inspiration! Some are actually made of sugar and toffee…
Skye Kelly has chosen the unique medium of toffee for her sculptures, which look incredible. The form of the pieces somehow embody fragility and strength, and the resulting colour gradient is really appealing to me. At its most concentrated, the toffee appears treacle black, but fades to a beautiful translucent gold at the finest tips. This is one art installation which, quite literally, looks good enough to eat.
Canadian artist, Shelley Miller, creates tiled murals made out of icing sugar and edible blue paint. The subjects of these murals are often topical and relate to the sugar trade and the shipping industry. Because of the materials that Miller uses, the murals are only temporary. The above images show that her 2009 piece – ‘Cargo’ – has degenerated due to rain in Montreal, but in poorer countries Miller’s work has been gradually eaten by hungry children.
The melted ice cream truck is a sculpture titled ‘Hot With The Chance of Late Storm’, and is by The Glue Society. Appropriately, this featured at the 2006 Sculpture By The Sea, in Sydney. I can’t help but think that if this piece were to appear on an English beach, it might look a bit sad – less ‘melted’, more ‘dissolved and washed away’…
Posted in Art, Culture, Design, Writing
Tagged art, Australia, beach, blogging, Canada, candy, caramel, critic, curator, ice cream, ice cream van, icing, installation, Leonie Cumiskey, melted ice cream van, opinion, sculpture, Sculpture By The Sea, Shelley Miller, Skye Kelly, sugar, sugar craft, sweets, The Glue Society, toffee, trends, writer, writing
The new Best Coast video for ‘The Only Place’ is a whimsical love song about Los Angeles, featuring gratuitous shots of gorgeous beaches and blue skies, mixed in with a healthy dose of craaazy antics. Still not sure I’d really want to move to L.A, although I definitely wouldn’t turn down a holiday there.
Roll on June 20th! No, I’m not taking a Californian holiday, but at least I will finally be going to see Best Coast live.
Posted in Fashion, Lifestyle, Music
Tagged beach, Best Coast, Bethany Cosentino, female vocalist, fun, gig, indie, Los Angeles, new music, Summer 2012, sun, USA, video
Actually, it hasn’t.
It’s forecast to snow over the bank holiday, but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been looking forward to more frequent sunny spells, pastel dresses, open toed shoes, lazing in the park, huge jugs of Pimms and longer days. Here are the Spring/Summer campaigns that have made me yearn for, errm…Spring/Summer.
Louis Vuitton by Steven Meisel – what better setting for this season’s pastel shades than in an ice cream parlour?
Steven Meisel also shot Prada’s newest campaign. Prada have added a little bit of edge to their take on the new pastels, and the models kind of look like fifties housewives who’ve finally got bored of suburbia and run off with petrolheads for a crazy road trip.
However, Tim Walker’s efforts for Mulberry really trumps both of these campaigns. Oversized props and a seaside setting, through the lense of the undisputed master of fantastical, nostalgia-tinged editorial? Perfection!
Posted in Advertising, Brands, Design, Fashion, Photography, Writing
Tagged advertising, beach, candy colours, fashion, ice cream, Louis Vuitton, Mulberry, nostalgia, pastels, Prada, retro, spring, Steven Meisel, summer, sunshine, Tim Walker