As an island nation, visits to the seaside have long been an important part of British culture, and most of us can probably recall a childhood holiday that centred around a trip to the coast.
Through his photography, Brighton-based photographer Simon Roberts explores the collective relationship between people and place, as well as the reflection of social, political and cultural change in the landscape. With projects like We English, Pierdom, and Merrie Albion he has documented not only the pastimes of ordinary people across the country, but also the way the British seaside is closely linked to our changing habits as a nation.
“The photographs contain elements of faded romance and nostalgia for the quirkiness, and they project some of the innocence that the seaside inhabits in our sense of place,” says Roberts.
When the UK went into lockdown in March, he began taking a daily photograph looking out to sea from his home in Brighton and posting one each day on Instagram along with a sea-related quote. This series of images became his most recent project A Daily Sea, and led to the launch of a fundraising print sale, with proceeds going to support the NHS Coronavirus Appeal. We asked him to tell us a bit more about the project and his style of photography, as well as what the lockdown has been like for him personally.