Czech-born Markéta Luskačová, who has lived in the UK since 1975, first went to North East England in 1976 where she fell in love with Whitley Bay and the people there who, in spite of the harsh weather, enjoyed their time by the seaside.
"I was very touched by it all: the families with children, old women in their best hats, elderly couples with grandchildren, teenagers courting shyly or boisterously, the ponies and donkeys walking patiently to and fro on the beach," Markéta recalls.
"The dogs and children were everywhere, dogs enjoying themselves as much as the children did. The fairground and the omnipresent tents, fortresses against the wind and rain, the seaside cafes selling sandwiches, apple pies, custard pies, ice creams and teas, of course. But they also sold boiling water to women who brought with them from their homes their teapots and teabags, because to buy tea for the whole family would be too expensive."
Although well known in photographic circles, Markéta's work in recent years has lacked the exposure of some of her contemporaries. These particular photographs will now go on display at the Martin Parr Foundation to coincide with the first publication of this series of work by RRB Photobooks.
"This long-forgotten body of work, depicting the North East beaches, fits perfectly into the remit of the Martin Parr Foundation – to revive important bodies of work," says Martin Parr. "Luskačová's images of the beach and associated life, show the sense of community that this area is rightly noted for, with the family scenes at its heart."
By the Sea: Photographs from the North East, 1976-1980 – Markéta Luskačová goes on display at Martin Parr Foundation in Bristol from 21 August until 5 October 2019.