Pierdom – Simon Roberts

Part art project, part research report, Simon Robert’s latest offering Pierdom is a comprehensive record of every remaining pier on the coast of Britain. In a natural development of his last major work We English (Chris Boot, 2009), Roberts again turns his 5x4 plate camera towards the landscape of British leisure, this time to document the impact of shifting economics on the architecture of the seaside. The pictures are precise and topographical, with each pier thoroughly indexed with information on construction materials, changes in length, restoration dates and incidences of fire damage at the back of the book. By framing these unique feats of construction within their wider geographical context, plonked between the steely greys and blues of the British sand and sky, Roberts provokes consideration of our changing relationship with our domestic natural landscape. With rising plane fares and growing ecological concerns around the ethics of air travel, it remains to be seen whether these bastions of the British seaside will enjoy a revival yet.

Dewi Lewis

£35 / 160pp / August 2013

ISBN 9781907893407

Reviewed by Holly Lucas
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