Tag Archives: tourism

Pierdom

Southend Pier by Simon RobertsSouthend-on-Sea, Essex

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 Pier Simon RobertsHastings, East Sussex

Boscombe Pier Simon RobertsBoscombe, Hampshire

Teignmouth Grand Pier Simon RobertsTeignmouth, Devon

Blackpool South Pier Simon RobertsBlackpool, Lancashire

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.

Instagram IRL

Real Life InstagramBrazilian Street Artist InstagramInstagram Art ProjectBrazilian artist Bruno Ribeiro has been creating and placing actual Instagram-style filters in popular London spots since September 2013. The project is ongoing – see the latest ones on the Real Life Instagram Tumblr.

Shangri-La: It’s In Our Nature

I’ve only just seen this ad campaign but thought I’d post it because of the wintry imagery and enchanting narrative – it feels kind of festive, plus I absolutely love wolves!

The video was directed by Bruno Aveillan, who was also behind the wonderful ‘L’Odyssée de Cartier’ ad from earlier in the year.

Oops!

While some social media gaffes are pretty serious, this weekend English Heritage proved that sometimes mistakes are easily forgivable, especially when you ‘fess up in such a cute way. Below, you can see their first Facebook post alerting fans to the supposed lie-in they could look forward to on Sunday…swiftly followed by a new post admitting their mistake. Cleverly, they used a photograph of Stonehenge on their second post, so although it served as an apology, the post also promotes a different English Heritage destination. Very nicely done indeed!

CCTV x OMA

OMA, the architects who designed London’s Commonwealth Institute, have finished the building for China’s main television station. In a country that is known for censorship and draconian policy, it’s spine-chillingly apt that the channel is called “CCTV”.

But China isn’t all surveillance, censorship and brutalist architecture!

To promote and increase tourism to a newly developed area in Huainan, the local government commissioned a building in the shape of musical instruments. The structure resembles a classical piano, and a giant transparent violin serves as the main entrance and staircase to the building. The purpose built tourist attraction, which is illuminated at night, also serves as a music facility for music students in a nearby college.