By the seaside

Our summer exhibition celebrates the British seaside in all its eccentric splendour. From the glitzy heydays of the '60s and '70s to today’s trend of  'staycations', seven UK-based photographers capture the quintessential spirit of the great British holiday.

Rob Ball (b. 1977) has been photographing the coast for fifteen years, viewing the coastline as an intrinsic part of British identity. He examines the rhythms of seaside resorts and the changes that arise from seasonal and generational shifts.

Anna Fox (b. 1961) is known for her combative, highly charged use of flash and colour. Fox’s Resort series continues an important lineage of photographs of Butlin's folklore. She juxtaposes personal intimacy with the surreal settings of Butlin’s in Bognor Regis, to create playful, sometimes critical, parodies of the British family camp experience.

John Hinde (1916-1997) was famous for his vivid photographs of Great Britain and Ireland at leisure in the late 1960s and '70s. His distinct aesthetic greatly influenced the art of postcard photography. Hinde trained a studio of photographers to meticulously follow his style and vision, producing a series of postcards to be sold at Butlin’s holiday camps across the UK. 

Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen (b. 1948) is a Finnish photographer who has lived and worked in Britain since the 1960s. Her series Byker (1969–1983) and Writing in the Sand (1978–1998) document the devastating impact of Newcastle’s East End redevelopment on the local community alongside the moments of joy and escapism that the beaches of Whitley Bay and Tynemouth provided. 


Martin Parr (b. 1952) is renowned for capturing the oddities and humour of everyday British life. The Last Resort: Photographs of New Brighton (1986) shows  his now distinct personal style - bright colours and vivid images -  which has earned  him a reputation as a renowned satirical photojournalist.

Simon Roberts (b. 1974) is known for his nuanced enquiries into identity, exploring how our relationship with the landscape shapes our sense of self and belonging. Pierdom is a comprehensive survey of Britain’s pleasure piers, contrasting their historical significance with their modern contexts.

Luke Stephenson (b. 1983) is intrigued by the  many eccentricities of the British psyche. 99 x 99s documents the story of the 99 ice cream through a photographic road trip around the UK. As he travelled, Stephenson was fascinated by how ice-cream makers and sellers across the country make each 99 ice cream unique.


With thanks to Michael Hoppen Gallery, the Centre for British Photography, and Rocket Gallery for their collaboration on this exhibition. For full image credits please download the list below.