Seaside: Photographed

  • Image: Down to the Beach. Photographer: Raymond C Lawson. Courtesy of Nicholas Cordes, with kind permission of the Lawson family
  • Image: Grace Lau, 21st Century Types, 2005
  • Image: Anna Fox, Hayling Island 1986 © Anna Fox, courtesy James Hyman Gallery, London
  • Image: Dafydd Jones, Butlins, Minehead Somerset. Summer 1979
  • Image: Martin Parr, New Brighton, England, from The Last Resort, 1983–85
  • Image: Untitled, from the series Day Out, 1974 © Vanley Burke. Courtesy Vanley Burke

19 May — 03 Jul 2021

Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange

This major exhibition looks at the relationship between photography and the British seaside from the 1850s to the present. Images of the beach, hotel life, the holiday camp, dressing up and dressing down, wild waves and coastlines all combine to create a rich picture of our resorts.

As well as featuring the work of respected photographers including Jane Bown, Henri Cartier Bresson, Vanley Burke, Anna Fox, Paul Nash, Martin Parr, and Ingrid Pollard, the curators have included rich and often unknown work from across photography’s history, including Raymond Lawson’s remarkable chronicle of family life in Whitstable.

Dafydd Jones, Barry Lewis, and Daniel Meadows all photographed at Butlins in the 1970s and Grace Robertson records the raucous goings-on of a women’s day out to the coast in the 1950s. Enzo Ragazzini captures the anarchy of the 1970 Isle of Wight festival, while Stuart Griffiths makes a bleak narrative of the 1990 rave scene in Brighton.  Composer Benjamin Britten and tenor Peter Pears, partners in music and in life, created a haven by the sea that they preserved in photographs.

In April 2019, the WILD Young Parent’s Project, in partnership with Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange, commissioned photographer Steve Tanner to work with the mums and dads in the West Cornwall groups to investigate their relationship to the sea. What is the reality for them of living in this remote, rural county that so many people escape to on holiday?  The project concluded in December 2020 with an invitation to poet Ella Frears to work with the mums and dads to capture their thoughts and feeling in print. The outcomes of this sustained partnership form a new addition to the main exhibition.

During the exhibition you can pick up our activity pack for U5s and their families for £3.50. The Art Takeaway has been designed by artist Theo Carter-Weber and contains everything you need for a playful day out.

Curated by Val Williams and Karen Shepherdson, Seaside: Photographed is a touring exhibition organised by Turner Contemporary. The exhibition was presented at Turner Contemporary in summer 2019, touring to three other UK venues in 2020/21, each with their own unique connection to the seaside:

John Hansard Gallery, Southampton:  31 Oct 2020 – 23 Jan 2021
Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange: 19 May – 3 Jul 2021*
Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool: 17 Jul – 11 Sep 2021

With support from Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Fund.

A hardback catalogue by Val Williams and Karen Shepherdson, to accompany the exhibition is available from our gallery shops and from our online shop.

This exhibition has been made possible as a result of the Government Indemnity Scheme. We would like to thank HM Government for providing Government Indemnity and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and Arts Council England for arranging the indemnity.

*Exhibition dates are subject to confirmation and / or change in line with government guidance on when we can reopen.


Shirley Baker / Rob Ball / Maurice Beck / Michael Bennett / Lucy Bentham / Hannah Blackmore / Jane Bown / Bill Brandt / Anne Braybon / Benjamin Britten / Vanley Burke / Natasha Caruana / Bob Chicalors / John Chillingworth / Olive Cooke / John Cracknell / William Crookes / Colin Curwood / Bruce Davidson / Steve Ferrier / Anna Fox / Stuart Griffiths / Pat Gwynne / Julia Horbaschk / Charles Howell / David Hurn / Kurt Hutton / Henry Iddon / Dafydd Jones / Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen / Grace Lau / Raymond C Lawson / Barry Lewis / Markéta Luskačová / Paul Martin / Iain McKell / Daniel Meadows / Lee Miller / László Moholy-Nagy / Francis Mortimer / Helen Muspratt / Paul Nash / Matt Nicholls / Martin Parr / Peter Pears / Danielle Peck / Vinca Petersen / John Piper / Ingrid Pollard / Enzo Ragazzini / Marc Riboud / Grace Robertson / Barnett & Reuben Saidman / Eddie Singh / Reginald Slader / Enid Slater / Edwin Smith / Steve Tanner / Colin Thomas / Keith Vaughan / D H White / Rowan Whybrew / Jason Wilde

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Closed: SUN & MON

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