This is my pet project, my release, my thinking photographers job.
Whilst strolling along the beach between Boscombe and Bournemouth one day I found myself under the piers, not a place usually accessible but then, upon looking upwards, I realised what beautiful things they are, not just the physical construction, the design, the nuts and bolts, the man hours and the vision it took to build them, but the beauty of a chunk of metal and wood interacting with the sea.
I then spent a few hours studying how best to photograph the underside of these wonderful constructions, all of them, all 85 British piers, all from just the underside.
Pier Beneath, the project was born and already it has proven to be an exciting project.
There was Clarence Pier in Southsea, an interesting Napoleonic pier built along the sea’s edge rather than off into the waves, it is blocked at the western edge and has a hovercraft port at the Eastern. This was where I had to crawl into a hole between the roof and the shingle once I’d dodged a returning hovercraft.
It is a eerie place where nobody goes, it was also where I was shoved in the back quite forcefully but was totally alone. Suddenly scared, I didn’t hang around, grabbing the shots you see below and leaving sharpish.
Then of course there is good old Eastbourne Pier, which has nothing frightening about it, except I’d photographed it 2 days before it burned down, so my record is possibly one of the last.
So what is the plan?
To publish a book of the same name, Pier Beneath, complete with all 85 piers and to donate a framed print to a worthy cause in each of the towns where the pier is situated.
The first such prints, of Boscombe and Bournemouth piers now proudly hang in the reception of the Acute Medical Unit at Royal Bournemouth Hospital and we are looking for suitable donors for Eastbourne, Worthing, Skegness, Swanage, Hythe, Southsea and Portsmouth.
Such has been the excitement that I have decided to offer framed prints with a limited edition run of just 25 of each of three size, and these are now available here.
The collection will be added to as an when and in the next few years will be complete.