‘Life at the sea’s edge is like an ending for a road movie where everyone gathers together.
Life dances on, year after year, under sun and cloud, holidaymakers come and go,
people change, the sea does not. The imagination begins where the land ends.’
In this exhibition of selected works from the book, The Holiday Pictures (Dewi Lewis, 2019), Paddy Summerfield does not offer the glamour of Deauville and Biarritz; this is the British seaside, where sunlight gives way to rainy pavements, and overcast skies. And here we all are: children and parents, babies and teenagers, people of all ages and from all over, sharing the magic of the coast. We see them in families, in couples and crowds, or isolated and alone under sunlit skies; we see them bored or lost in thought, dozing or daydreaming, at play or watching sky and sea. They cross the sands, wander along promenades and piers, and endlessly photograph, making holiday memories.
With The Holiday Pictures, Summerfield tells us our own story; a primal and universal story of generations at the sea’s edge, looking inwards and looking out to horizons and skies. The photo sequences imply other narratives, as if someone has walked into the next frame, so waves curling in one picture seem to break in the next where children splash and play; and the exhibition has a unifying narrative that ends in a hopeful radiance.
Artist’s Statement :
With all my photographs, there is a spiritual message.
About Paddy Summerfield
Oxford-based, Paddy Summerfield, trained at Guildford School of Art in the Photography and Film departments. His work has been shown in many galleries, including the ICA, The Barbican, The Serpentine Gallery, and The Photographers’ Gallery, and is in the collections of the Arts Council and the V&A, as well as in numerous private collections. The Holiday Pictures is his fourth book published by Dewi Lewis, two of which are now no longer available including Mother and Father (2014), which was widely acclaimed and featured in several lists of the ‘Best Photobooks of The Year’.
Paddy Summerfield : The Holiday Pictures
Until January 18, 2020
Flow Photographic Gallery
1010 Harrow Road
London NW10 5NS