The Turner Contemporary’s very first photography exhibition is – very fittingly – centred around the beaches of Britain. Seaside: Photographed documents a wide variety of coastal scenes and locations around the country, each photographer exploring the same kind of place, but with a vastly different take on it, each image showing us a new side of the seaside.
The exhibition covers so much ground when it comes to the theme, showing the evolution of the British coast, from the vacationing Victorians of the past, right up to the modern beach goers of the present. It is amazing to see how much – and how little – things have changed over time
Although all the images are plucked straight from real life, it never fails to be visually interesting; almost every photograph has its own fascinating story, and this is just one of the many things that makes the exhibition so great.
For example, Enzo Ragazzini captures the music festival that was chaotic enough to get such gatherings banned in the area without a licence and took the Isle of Wight thirty-two years to recover from. Interestingly, he took no pictures of the performers themselves, instead making the audience members his sole focus.
I would recommend Seaside: Photographed for its close connection to the local area. It resonates with locals, who have their personal experience of the British seaside, while perfectly encapsulating the atmosphere for tourists. It evokes a strong sense of nostalgia, even for memories that aren’t one’s own.