‘Longshore Drift’ is a limited edition photo-essay by graphic designer and photographer Andrew Sullivan based in Ashford, Kent; the culmination of a lifelong fascination with Dungeness.
The book brings together Sullivan’s love of typography, texture and graphics to produce a remarkable range of images that encapsulate the true spirit of this expanse of shingle on the Kent coast that juts out into the English Channel.
Sullivan’s background as a designer drew him to the graphic markings, blistered paint and pitted steel that adorn the shacks, boats and abandoned shipping containers that over time have come to populate the beach. In a series of detailed close-ups he has captured the years of weathering and corrosion that have peeled away the surface of these structures to convey what Dungeness really is: a windswept peninsular that only gradually reveals its unique history.
“Dungeness could have been lifted fresh out of the southern states of America. Its ramshackle nature forms an integral part of its landscape. Dungeness is a place of extremes; from the desert-like sun to the bitter easterly winds that cut through you, it leaves an indelible mark,” said Sullivan.
Sullivan was enthralled by Dungeness as a child and recalls being transfixed by its landscape, from the imposing presence of the power station and lighthouses to the fishing boats and community of huts that line the beach. Andrew has photographed Dungeness many times in the intervening years, but felt that he was never able to truly encapsulate its essence until now.
Marc Christmas, Photographer and Lecturer (South Kent College) said: “Andrew’s approach has not been to grab the obvious picture but to use the still image to uncover unknowns and display their meanings. So what do these images speak of collectively? Andrew’s framing of the subject, flat square on compositions and graphic fragments emphasise something of a coded mystery. They speak of a language of time, something about it becoming more complete as it falls apart and disappears, something about survival.”
This beautiful limited edition hardback book consists of 48 pages with 38 colour and 6 black & white photographic plates plus a foreword by photographer and lecturer, Marc Christmas and an introduction by Andrew Sullivan.
Book dimensions: W 25cm x H 21cm