Jonny Bell Photography | Promenade

Promenade

October 08, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

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Set along the coast lines of East Anglia, the Promenade series allegorises our struggles to manage and control fundamental elements. As a project it has grown from my explorations of rural industrial landscapes, and consideration of our relationships with our environment, the interactions and marks we leave on the landscape.

I recognise that like most people I have emotional responses to nature and landscapes, I have sought out wild and remote areas to live and experience. So for me this is necessary for my own wellbeing, as for so many people. But through my work I want to look beyond the aesthetics and emotion. I want to learn to observe and evidence.

Often on the peripheries of urban areas sea defence mechanisms are required, purposed to delay erosion, but also serving as recreational spaces for communities, exposing juxtapositions of function and brutalities in form. They are landscapes emphasising human design and construction of vistas; sharp, stark, lineal contrasts traced across the landscape. Yet somehow they sit unobserved in the broad expanse of landscape, below the eye level of our vantage point, fenced off, behind us as we look to the oceans, and at high tides partly softened and concealed through the sea’s interactions with them.

These landscapes allude to recent histories, of Victorian and British romanticisms of beach huts perched on tiers of concrete architecture, of sea sides and the towns synonymous with them. There is also a recognition in these ramparts of an increasing pace of change, of  increasing scales of these ramparts and more modern battlements engineered to hold back the sweeping tides and storm surges.

Increasingly important to coastal communities, on the front lines of one of the challenges posed by climate change, they highlight the resilience of human nature whilst exposing our fallibilities and frailties.


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