Art Diary: Sea here
AT times eerie, but also tragically romantic, Simon Roberts’ latest collection of photographs takes the viewer on a trip along the piers around the British Isles.
He spent three years cataloguing the 58 existing piers and those that no longer exist, including the lost Shanklin pier on the Isle of Wight or the Margate Jetty.
These ghostly piers are obvious in their absence. Some structures balance on delicate spindles while others are a bulky nest of scaffolding to bear the weight of gaudy fairground rides.
A selection of the images form a solo show at the Flowers Gallery starting on September 10.
The exhibition will also launch Roberts’ new publication that includes the photographs, map and potted history of each pier.
Pierdom follows his earlier photographic project We English that presented expansive shots of the English on holiday.
These aren’t the close-up studies of British leisure time of Martin Parr; it’s anthropology from a distance.
Roberts’ eye equally watches people, architecture and nature from afar.
This comprehensive survey is not without emotion, their potency recalls daytripper jaunts, the strained crooning of a 1950s soundtrack, the grace of the landscape and the socio-political history stuck like barnacles to the cast-iron girders.
Piers have entered the political arena recently with local communities fighting to wrangle ownership and protect those piers running into disrepair following years of neglect.
The image of the at-risk Weston-Super-Mare Birnbeck Pier from 2011 illustrates its desperate state. Conversely, what remains of the Brighton West Pier stalks out of the water like a beautiful mirage.
September 4-14 • Clerkenwell Gallery, 20 Clerkenwell Green, EC1R 0DP, 07970 492 858 | bo-lee.co.uk
CHARLIE SMITH GALLERY
Tom Ormond: Everywhere From Nothing.
September 6-October 5 • 336 Old Street, EC1V 9DR, 020 7739 4055 | www.charliesmithlondon.com
CURIOUS DUKE GALLERY
Through The Minds Eye – Hannah Adamaszek.
September 5-21 • Whitecross Street, EC1Y 8QP, 020 7251 6551 | www.curiousdukegallery.com
Giorgio Casali: Photographer / Domus 1951-1983.
Until September 8 • 39a Canonbury Square, N1 2AN, 020 7704 9522 | www.estorickcollection.com
Simon Roberts: Pierdom.
September 10-October 12 • 82 Kingsland Road, E2 8DP, 020 7920 7777 | www.flowersgallery.com
Shu Lea Cheang and Mark Amerika.
Until October 20 • McKenzie Pavilion, Finsbury Park, N4 2NQ, 020 8802 2827 | www.furtherfield.org
Richard Avedon: Women.
September 6-October 26 • 6-24 Britannia Street, WC1X 9JD, 020 7841 9960 | www.gagosian.com
KINGS PLACE GALLERY
Ruth Borchard Self-Portrait Competition.
Until September 22 • Kings Place, 90 York Way, N1 9AG, 0207 520 1485 | www.kingsplacegallery.co.uk
Until September 7 • Kings Place, 90 York Way, N1 9AG, 0207 520 1480 | www.pangolinlondon.com
PARASOL UNIT FOUNDATION FOR CONTEMPORARY ART
Siah Armajani: An Ingenius World.
September 18-December 15 • 14 Wharf Road, N1 7RW, 0207 490 7373 | www.parasol-unit.org
September 6-21 • 32 Paul Street, EC2A 4LB, 020 7613 1550 | www.signalgallery.com
THE MILLINERY WORKS GALLERY
Sarah Cawkwell: Drawings with Sculpture.
September 18-October 13 • 87 Southgate Road, N1 3JS, 020 7359 2019 | www.millineryworks.co.uk
VICTORIA MIRO GALLERY
Idris Khan: Beyond the Black.
September 20-November 9 • 16 Wharf Road, N1 7RW 020 7336 8109 | www.victoria-miro.com
WILLIAM BENINGTON GALLERY
Group Design Show.
From September 5 • 20 Arlington Way, EC1R 1UY, 020 3659 5818 | www.williambeningtongallery.co.uk
Stranger: An Exhibition of Self Portraits.
Until August 31 • 82 Kingsland Road, E2 8DP, 020 7920 7777 | www.flowersgallery.com
ISLINGTON ARTS FACTORY
The Common Group.
September 2-8 • 2 Parkhurst Road, N7 0SF, 020 7607 0561 | www.islingtonartsfactory.org