Simon Roberts’ new project, Pierdom, looks at a quintessentially British architectural remnant of a oncethriving leisure time of our recent past. Mostly built in the 19th Century, piers were originally constructed as landing docks for pleasure steamers, but developed to cater for the needs of seaside day-trippers escaping the city. In their heyday, the ‘pleasure piers’ incorporated cafes, casinos, theaters and even tramways. While some were modest, others were characteristically Victorian – elegant, exotic and grand. At the turn of the last century, almost a hundred piers existed: now only half remain and many face an uncertain future. All have interesting tales to tell, and Roberts has been documenting the remaining piers, mostly out-of-season, using his signature landscape style and traditional 4″x5″ plate camera. The photographs echo his work in We English: topographical landscapes, sometimes figurative and with a minimal colour palette. Simon Roberts’ two principle bodies of work, Motherland and We English, have met with great critical acclaim and have been published as monographs by Chris Boot. Roberts was also commissioned as the official Election Artist by the House of Commons to produce a record of the 2010 UK General Election. His photographs have been exhibited widely including a recent solo show at the National Media Museum, and are represented in major public and private collections, including the Deutsche Börse Art Collection and George Eastman House. Crane Kalman Brighton has a limited number of prints available from Simon Roberts’ Pierdom series.

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