This is a project documenting the life and people in the seaside town of Southend on Sea, Essex.  I was initially drawn to Southend as the people there are very reminiscent of what the east end of London used to be like when I was growing up and there’s a nostalgia of days out by the sea that can be felt by us all. I like it because it seems to incorporate a wide variety of what would be called England. You have the kitsch of the English seaside alongside the eclectic people that roam it.

However, I realised very quickly that there is a cultural shift taking place. The feeling of fun days by the sea are still there but the people who occupy them are from different cultural backgrounds and very different from when I was younger. This juxtaposed with the ever so popular media representation of Essex, such as the reality TV programs like The Only Way is Essex, made it a great time to create a social document of this area. 

During the project I tried to find the current people and events that represent Southend and create a photographic document that would hopefully stand the test of time. It was my aim to show the soft underbelly of this place with honesty and an intrinsic nature that leaves aside this Essex genre in favour of intimate portraits of the real people here and the scenes that make up this vibrant part of England.

The project went on to be sponsored by Olympus UK and exhibited alongside the work of Josef Koudelka, in the Beecroft Gallery.

If you would to sponsor this project for a book or exhibition, please contact me.

Watch the video from the Exhibition below