Photo essay Urban
After his previous book 'Funland', photographer Rob Ball revisited the UK coast line. Different from his previous book, for his new book 'silent Coast' he looked at the structural elements of his scenes that bordered between urban and nature. Deprived of people and color, you feel the deep silence in these pictures.
Can you tell a bit about your background (as a photographer)?
I trained as a photojournalist and worked originally as a news and sports photographer. Following this I spent ten years working in forensic photography in London – something which still influences my approach today (and is particularly clear in Silent Coast, I think). I now divide my time between lecturing on photography at a university and working on commissions and personal projects.
Can you tell us a bit more about the project ‘Silent Coast’?
I made dozens of photographic trips around the UK coastline for the book Funland, where I was working in colour and focussing on the visual language of our seafront culture, usually during high season. Silent Coast was a project showing what happens to these spaces when the people have gone home. Here I was looking at the structural elements of our often-futile attempts to culture nature and intervene in our fragile coastline in the name of fun. It’s a book which reveals the skeleton of coastal amusements, devoid of people, colour and noise – the very thing they are designed for. Much of the work was made during Covid lockdowns and around the time The UK left the EU so isolation is a key theme within the work also.
What does photography mean to you?
Photography means a great deal to me and has – for the past 20 years – been the language I feel most comfortable communicating with.
Which other photographers, designers, artists or creative people are you loving at the moment?
I admire many photographers; Bruce Wirghton, Eric Tabuchi, Dana Lixenburg, Jim Dow but also designers, writers and filmmakers. I am currently reading about tourism and how its histories can help shape new projects and ideass
© Pictures by Rob Ball