Monday, 20 April 2009

On the Edge

Global warming and rising sea levels is changing the British coastline dramatically, causing part of the east and south coast to erode faster than ever before.
The battle with the sea is costly, with millions of pounds being spent on sea defences. Now the U.K government says it can not afford to defend the whole of the coast. This new policy, dubbed ‘managed retreat’ by scientists, means making difficult decisions about what land to save and what to sacrifice. Natural and cultural heritage is being lost and people of small villages such as Happisburgh in Norfolk and Skipsea in Yorkshire face no other choice than to abandon their homes to the sea. No compensation is offered for land or property lost due to coastal erosion; life along the sea has proved risky.

As the sea is moving further in, it is constantly reshaping the edge of Britain and redefining the borders as we know them.
This set of photographs looks at the land that has been left defenceless - soon to be claimed by the sea.

Thursday, 16 April 2009


Fairlight, East Sussex
The tide was out and the sky was bleak - finally I got some pictures.
I have been agonising for weeks over how to present this project, partly because I don't feel that it is finished and also because ideally in the non virtual if I were to present it, I would hang a set of large prints on the wall (probably only about six images) and use some of the affected peoples stories and comments together with facts. I still have no real solution to the presentation and have been playing around with different layouts for a pdf and have just discarded all of it... so it is fare to say that I'm going a bit crazy. I'm a very hesitant editor of my own work and at the same time a real control freak.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Sea Change

I'm reading a great book called Sea Change - Britain's Coastal Catastrophe by Richard Girling at the moment. Girling has dedicated a chapter to erosion and discusses many of the problems and conflicts involved.

Monday, 6 April 2009

Changing Landscapes

Broken Line - Olaf Otto Becker
A while back, I picked up a book entitled Vanishing landscapes, that I keep going back to again and again. All the photographers included in the book have documented landscapes that are undergoing change in some way. Olaf Otto Becker's work Broken Line covers 4000km along the west coast of Greenland, documenting the melting ice. Each image has the GPS location in the title. There is more amazing images on his website that has not been included in this book.
Jem Southam's Rockfalls are very much forming a typological study and are essentially of coastal erosion. Over the past 15 years he have kept revisiting the same location, studying the gradual changes of the rock surface. Seesaw magazine has a good interview with him about his work.
Rockfalls - Jem Southam