Thursday, 18 July 2013

As Above So Below, What a Wonderful World and Old Steine Gardens

"As Above So Below" :- An absolutely stunning seascape captured from the cliffs at Ovingdean Gap near the city of Brighton on the south coast of England. It's rare to find the English Channel looking so calm but due to the unfashionably hot weather we've been experiencing over the last week or so the waters hitting the English coastline have been very flat with very little wave activity. This of course lends itself to photography as light is more reflective on a smooth surface and if you get your timing right and catch the sunset the combination of the two is staggeringly beautiful.

"What a Wonderful World" :- I can't make my mind up whether this looks like some 1950's vision of the future or if it's in fact a more accurate depiction of a futuristic world gone wrong. In actual fact it's neither as it was a 1970's design which at the time was probably thought of as a good idea, well realised and thought out. To me it's ugly, block like and colourless structure does have a certain beauty to it that I can't quite put my finger on. I do however remember this area before it was covered in concrete. It was (and still is) known as "Black Rock" and it was covered in rock pools and sea life and governed by the tides that rolled in and out twice a day. The land was 'reclaimed' (a phrase that always makes me grimace) and obliterated so that rich people had somewhere to park their boats and go shopping 24 hours a day in a soulless neon tubed vision of hell.

"Old Steine Gardens" :- Originally Brighton (UK) was a fishing village called Brighthelmstone and the Old Steine was an open space with a stream running through it. Fishermen would dry their nets there and also store their boats on the wide green space. Eventually the area was drained and enclosed so that one could promenade around the Steine. Buildings started to appear on the Old Steine in the eighteenth century with the first building being a circulating library built in 1760. Part of the Old Steine included the eastern lawns of the Royal Pavilion (a seaside retreat for the Prince of Wales). The Victoria Fountain is thirty-two feet in height and includes a large, cast-iron pool with a rim decorated with moldings. In the pool itself there are Sarsen stones that were found in the Steine by workers digging a trench in 1823. The Victoria Fountain was inaugurated on 25 May 1846 and is now a Grade II structure.

All Photography © Justin Hill