Monday, 28 July 2014

Chalk Islands, Devil's Dyke Road and Rust in Peace

"Chalk Islands" :- A quiet and calm afternoon on the beach near the historical village of Rottingdean, near Brighton on the south coast of England. The salt water of the English Channel had quietly slipped out for a while and clumps of the vast chalkbed were sticking up out of the water and sunning themselves. A landscape formed over millions of years, it's hard to get it into your head that the huge chalk cliffs extended out this far and that this is all tha's left of them. I suppose that means that in a few million years time the main coast road and cliffs that run into the City of Brighton will end up looking like this too. Just a few bits of chalk, some water and maybe the odd bit of tarmac or metal as a clue that we were once here.

"Devil's Dyke Road" :- When I processed this image I immediately found myself thinking of the old "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" film poster (but without the distant hills). The image is slightly deceiving as it's not quite as remote as it appears to be. It's actually the tail end of Devil's Dyke Road near the hamlet of Saddlescombe in West Sussex. If you were to drive towards the horizon in this image the road doglegs with a sharp left and continues for a couple of miles before placing you at a major Brighton & Hove junction on the main A27 road which runs between Eastbourne and Portsmouth. The legendary beauty spot of Devil's Dyke itself is just to the right of this image.

"Rust in Peace" :- A sunlit beach, blue water and a large rusting iron support. Must be in Brighton then. It's funny how the old iron supports of the ruined West Pier have become icons and landmarks in their own right. They are as famous as the old pier itself so it came as quite a shock when a few of these huge Victorian iron relics were removed from the beach altogether by Brighton Council to make way for the construction of their new (and in my opinion barking mad) i360 observation tower. Some saw these old pillars as an eyesore but if you look at anything with an open (and artistic) mind you'll find beauty and grace in all things. I found them a constant source of fascinating visuals. Changing colour as the day grew long, casting shadows that stretched off across the pebbled beach. They all stood to attention as if guarding the twisted ruins of the pier itself. Now only a few remain.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill