Seaside Photographed

Image: Down to the Beach. Photographer: Raymond C Lawson. Courtesy of Nicholas Cordes, with kind permission of the Lawson family

13 Feb — 05 Jun 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 British resorts.

As well as featuring the work of respected photographers including Jane Bown, Henri Cartier Bresson, Vanley Burke, Anna Fox, Susan Hiller, 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.

Daniel Meadows, Barry Lewis and Dafydd Jones 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.


Curated by Val Williams and Karen Shepherdson, Seaside: Photographed is a touring exhibition organised by Turner Contemporary. The exhibition is presented at Turner Contemporary in summer 2019, then tours to three other UK venues in 2020/21, each with their own unique connection to the seaside; Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange, John Hansard Gallery, Southampton, and Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool. With support from Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Fund.


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Open: WED-SAT, 10.00 - 17.00
Closed: SUN-TUE

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