Turner Contemporary

“Seaside photographed” shows a variety of different photographer’s work, and each show different perspectives of the British seaside. The mixture of different photographers and style of pictures shows how people’s experiences and opinions of the holiday towns differ. Most of the photographers featured in this exhibition have personal ties to the place they are visiting, so it makes the exhibition more personal. It shows photographs from 1850 to the present day so it shows how people’s time at the beach has changed. The exhibition also includes pictures of the beach without people, so it shows a wide variety of work, which would appeal to different people.

The exhibition depicts seaside towns that have become less desirable to tourists, which seems interesting because it illustrates how the popularity of British holiday destinations has declined. This is interesting because in the exhibition there are pictures of seaside towns thriving, and also pictures of other towns in decay. I particularly enjoyed the caravan gallery, a collection of postcards that make fun of popular seaside towns. I liked these because they are not avoiding the depressing reality of some of these destinations, but instead they are showing it, and making it humorous.

I also really enjoyed Martin Parr’s “the last resort” which is a collection of photographs taken at the holiday park Butlin’s. The colours in the photos are very bright, which suggests that the holiday should be a happy time, however, lots of the images depict very chaotic scenes, and many people in the photographs look bored or stressed, showing that a trip to the seaside is not always fun. I really like the style of these photos because the chaotic appearance means that there are many things to look at in each photograph and there is always something amusing in the background. Moreover, I find Martin Parr’s work to be very interesting; however I think it is slightly inconvenient having the pictures displayed in a long vertical line up the gallery wall, because it makes it difficult to view the photos at the top in detail. Therefore that is the only aspect of this collection of photographs that I find annoying.

I think that the aim of the exhibition “seaside photographed” is to show the reality of what it is like to spend time at the beach and I think it has achieved this aim well. I think the exhibition is worth visiting because it has a large variety of different styles of pictures, so I think different aspects will appeal to different people. The only problem that I found in the exhibition was the way some of the pictures were displayed, for example the Hastings portrait studio by Jason Wilde was displayed in I long vertical line, so the pictures at the top were really difficult to make out, so I think that this could affect people’s engagement with the exhibition, as they would not be able to see some of the work properly. But with that said, I would recommend the exhibition.


Posted by: Turner Contemporary on 9 July 2019
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