Seaside Shelters: Will Scott's wonderfully vibrant photographs of a bygone era
Acclaimed photographer and filmmaker Will Scott has travelled throughout the UK to lovingly chronicle the definitive collection of Britain's seaside shelters.
Once a testament to the popularity of British summer holidays and the country’s inclement weather, many of these architectural gems now stand deserted, decorously preserved in time. Dedicated to documenting their faded grandeur and intricate designs, Scott travelled the length and breadth of Britain for the project, from iconic seaside resorts to lesser-known sites along the coast, including Blackpool, Margate, the Isle of Wight, Frinton-on-Sea, Southsea, Colwyn Bay, Weymouth and Exmouth.
For so many, these images evoke memories of childhood summers, when – not to be defeated by the undependable British weather – the seaside shelter meant that young and old could still enjoy the fresh air and fun of being on holiday even if that meant looking out to sea, eating ice cream or fish and chips and waiting impatiently for the sun to come out.
Scott's captivating set of photographs features diverse styles of structure, colour and design from late Victorian, Art Deco to Bauhaus in all their faded glory. These iconic structures represent a small section of quintessentially British architecture and perfectly represent our love affair with the seaside holiday.
Now you can enjoy his series during an exhibition launching on 20 July at the HENI Gallery on Lexington Street, London. Running until 19 August 2018, the show is accompanied by a new book, entitled Seaside Shelters, which includes an accompanying essay by Edwin Heathcote, architecture and design critic for the Financial Times.
Heathcote writes, "There is nothing, quite possibly, more British than the seaside shelter: the sense it embodies of a struggle against the elements; the loneliness of a small structure outlined against the vast horizon of the sea on a rainy day; the optimism of a day out at the seaside despite the weather; the municipal sense of a public good which is now mostly a memory. These small, intimate, curious works of micro-architecture are simultaneously reminders of a very particular world-view, nostalgia pods and wonderfully public places, perhaps the last architecture owned by us and open to all at any time of the day or the year."
Seaside Shelters is published on 19 July, priced at £14.99. The exhibition launches at the HENI Gallery on 20 July 2018. For more information, visit henipublishing.com.