Pierdom: Photographs of Britain’s piers by Simon Roberts

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Brighton West Pier, East Sussex, April 2011 © Simon Roberts, courtesy Flowers Gallery
Brighton West Pier, East Sussex, April 2011 © Simon Roberts, courtesy Flowers Gallery

Pierdom: Photographs of Britain’s piers by Simon Roberts

Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, UK

3 October 2015 to 21 February 2016

 

40 photographs from Pierdom, Simon Roberts’ three-year quest to document all of Britain’s remaining pleasure piers, will be exhibited together for the first time at Brighton Museum and Art Gallery from October.

 

For two centuries Britain’s piers have traced our relationship with the seaside, and our economic and social history. Internationally renowned photographer Simon Roberts, who lives in Brighton, has undertaken a three-year quest to document all of Britain’s remaining pleasure piers, using a large format 4 x 5” field camera.

 

The series has been made into an acclaimed photobook, Pierdom, and enjoyed success in London commercial gallery, Flowers.  Several of the pier photographs have been exhibited in their respective hometowns but this will be the first time they have been brought together in one public exhibition.

 

Roberts said: “I don’t think anything sums up British national identity more powerfully than the pleasure pier.  A century ago our coastline had over a hundred, offering people a tantalising taste of the sea without having to get wet, but today fewer than half of them are still standing.

 

“With Pierdom I wanted to celebrate the personality, architecture and history of each remaining structure – as well as some of the spaces where the piers can no longer be seen.  I also wanted to investigate the connections between the landscapes and the communities that live and play against the backdrop of these pleasure piers.

 

“I’m delighted that the whole exhibition of prints will be displayed together for the first time in my home town of Brighton, arguably the home of the pleasure pier!”

 

The exhibition will include striking, evocative images of piers in Hastings, Southsea (Portsmouth), Paignton, Clevedon, Eastbourne (captured before last year’s fire), Bangor and Cleethorpes, as well as Brighton’s own piers.

 

Film material exploring the photographer’s working process and the history of the Brighton piers will also be displayed, together with items from the museum’s local history archive and personal stories of seaside memories.  Members of the public will be encouraged to leave their own ‘pier stories’, and the Museum & Art Gallery’s explainers will also be on hand to share interesting objects and stories relating to Brighton & Hove’s contrasting piers.

 

ENDS

 

Notes for Editors

 

 

For further information please contact Jo Nightingale on jo.nightingale@brighton-hove.gov.uk or + 44 (0)1273 296718.  Please note that I only work Mon, Tues and Thurs and will be *on holiday 16-28 September* – in my absence please contact museums.marketing@brighton-hove.gov.uk or 03000 290906.

 

 

Exhibition and venue details

 

Pierdom: Photographs of Britain’s piers by Simon Roberts

Brighton Museum & Art Gallery

3 October 2015 to 21 February 2016

http://brightonmuseums.org.uk/brighton/what-to-see/exhibitions-and-displays/pierdom-photographs-of-britains-piers-by-simon-roberts/

 

 

 

**Special offer: 2-4-1 entry for residents of neighbouring pier-towns**

 

Residents of nearby towns whose piers are featured in the exhibition – Worthing, Eastbourne, Hastings and Bognor Regis – can enjoy 2-4-1 entry to Brighton Museum & Art Gallery during the Pierdom exhibition with proof of residence.  Qualifying postcodes: BN11, BN12, BN13, BN14, BN91, BN99, BN20, BN21, BN22, BN23, TN34,TN35, PO21 and PO22.

 

Engagement activities

 

The following Bite-size Museum talks will accompany the exhibition, all at 12pm:

 

  • 27 October 2015
    Take a closer look at JMW Turner’s famous watercolour Brighthelmston, and find out more about it from curator Jenny Lund.
  • 10 November 2015
    Discover the history of Brighton’s piers before the First World War with researcher Jackie Marsh-Hobbs.
  • 22 December 2015
    Explore the multifaceted nature of Britain’s piers with researcher Michael Carey.
  • 29 December 2015
    Discover the history of Brighton’s piers before the First World War with researcher Jackie Marsh-Hobbs.
  • Dates to be confirmed: Bite-size Museum talks with Simon Roberts.

 

 

About Simon Roberts

 

Simon Roberts (b.1974) is a British photographer based in Brighton. Often employing expansive landscape photographs his approach is to create wide-ranging surveys of our time, which communicate on social, economic and political issues.

His work has been exhibited widely, with solo shows at the National Media Museum, Bradford, Museum and Multimedia Art Museum Moscow; and resides in major public and private collections including the George Eastman House, Deutsche Börse Art Collection and Wilson Centre for Photography.

In 2010 he was commissioned as the official Election Artist by the House of Commons Works of Art Committee, to produce a record of the 2010 General Election on behalf of the UK Parliament, and he was recently made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society. He has published three critically acclaimed monographs: Motherland (Chris Boot, 2007), We English (Chris Boot, 2009) and Pierdom (Dewi Lewis, 2013).

 

About Brighton Museum & Art Gallery

 

Brighton Museum and Art Gallery is one of Britain’s oldest public museums.  Located in the Royal Pavilion Estate at the heart of the city’s cultural quarter, its collections showcase arts and crafts from across the world and history from Ancient Egypt to modern Brighton.

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