Photographs of Britain’s 58 surviving piers capture the abiding otherness of seaside towns”Piers provide a walk on the sea without the disadvantage of being seasick,” declared the poet of all things quintessentially English, John Betjeman, “and are havens of fresh air and freedom which we can ill afford to lose.” Betjeman was one of the founders of the National Piers Society, an organisation that continues to campaign to safeguard the future of the 58 surviving piers in Britain. He would have been delighted with this book.Pierdom is another instalment in Simon Roberts’ ongoing visual documentation of modern England. He has photographed every British pier using a 4×5 plate camera, which has also captured the landscape from which they extend, the sea around them and the sky above them.Roberts has photographed some piers from a distant elevation and others up close from underneath their steel and wood structures. Thus, Deal pier in Kent seem to stretch to the horizon, while Aberystwyth looks like an industrial sculpture. Others, like the “lost” pier of Brighton West or Hastings pier, both greatly damaged by fire, seem like malformed things that may at any moment fall into the sea. (As I write, work has begun …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books