Saturday, 10 May 2014

Fancy An Ice Cream, Prom Bench and Darkland

"Fancy An Ice Cream" :- This area was once a thriving part of Brighton & Hove's promenade. It used to be buzzing with life and the sights and sounds you would expect to find at any seaside resort. This is the lower section of promenade that's opposite the Grade II Regency Square. To the left of this image there used to stand the grand entrance to the 339.85 meter (1115 feet) long Victorian built West Pier (Opened in 1866 and closed in 1975). To the right of this image (just beyond the red and white painted boards) there used to be the 1930's built children's paddling pool. The air used to be filled with the sounds of laughter and splashing children. I was brought here as a child in the late 60's and early 70's and have very fond memories of the place. The pier is now a ruin and has been left to rot where it stands, which is outrageous as it's one of only two Grade I listed piers in the UK. The paddling pool was unceremoniously knocked down, flattened and filled in a few years ago which pretty much was the final death knell of this area for me. Now it's run down with nothing but ruins, wide wndy spaces and a very unwelcoming public subway that smells very unpleasant. This is the site where the contoversial 175 metres high i360 tower is going to be built. A £36 million loan has been taken out to help fund the construction which has been estimated to cost £46.2 million in total. The local council and Marks Barfield Architects want to see it built but most of Brighton's inhabitants and locals detest the scheme and fear it will be nothing more than yet another hugely expensive white elephant and blot on the landscape.

"Prom Bench" :- Context is a huge thing to play with when creating images, especially photographic ones. When things are shown out of context they take on a life of their own, sometimes surreal, sometimes more powerful. The image can at times ask questions or make you inquisitive, it can make you think about your surroundings and what we consider to be the norm. I usually describe my images by saying where I was, what I was looking at, whereabouts it was taken etc. But this image is better off speaking for itself as I think it has a lot ot say.

"Darkland" :- The seaside city and resort of Brighton & Hove is thrown into silhouette as another day slips away to make way for the approaching night. The joys of having such a long pier on the seafront means that I can venture out to sea and in effect glide over the waves without having to be in a boat or hire a plane. It does however mean that I have to jostle for position with tourists and a multitude of photographers (all competing with lens size) in order to get the shot.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill