Facades

 

A documentary examination of English coastal towns, and how they try to hide their declining state through bright but fading colours and flashing lights. The images in this series capture the banality hidden behind and around the masked fronts of the towns. Despite how poverty stricken these towns are, and the effect this has to the appearance of them, people still flock to the coast throughout the year on day trips and holidays, for the nostalgia and to escape from the realities of day-to-day life.

 

The series is shot on medium format on colour film (nostalgic in itself), which really draws out the drab tones of the fronts of Morecambe and Blackpool, and whilst not making them appear welcoming or attractive, they are places we will all recognise from visits to the coast. The square format of this medium meant that every element within the frame was carefully considered, as was every element that may have left or entered the frame at the time of pressing the shutter.

 

This project was influenced after finding photographers, Rob Ball and Martin Salter, documenting the coast on colour medium format film. Ball and Salter have both documented the coast and coastal towns over numerous years and with this project I hope to add to an ongoing social document whilst using the same format. Perhaps in one hundred years there will be even more of a facade in these locations.

 

Facades was shot over three separate days on individual visits to both Morecambe and Blackpool over the months of October, November, and December. In preparation for each shoot, the weather was closely monitored ahead of time so that there would be consistency in appearance across the series. The coast was visited on days when it wasn’t raining, as this is when it is likely that people visit the coast, but the decision to travel on slightly overcast days was intentional to give the shots an added sense of gloom. Each location was also virtually visited beforehand through Google maps street view, which was to make sure the chosen location was suitable for capturing the decline of the coast.