Featured Project: Essex Chronicles
It’s been a while since we featured a project on our website. However, we absolutely love this photographic journal by Mark Massey. Mark describes himself as a self-taught photographer with a keen interest in ‘social documentary’ – observing and discovering familiar places, and the interaction between people and the environment.
“I’m a print designer by trade, and I really like newsprint as an accessible medium, so it was an obvious choice.”
The tabloid newsprint features 39 photographs, across 28 pages, and covers the whole length of the coastline, from Foulness Island in the east and as far west as the area around the QEII Bridge and Purfleet. Mark produced an initial print run of 50, but these have sold out fast. It is available to buy for £5 plus postage, from his website.
About the project:
We asked Mark to give us a bit of background about the project and what inspired him to start the project:
‘Essex Chronicles’ is my personal exploration of life along the northern side of the Thames estuary, one of the country’s largest inlets and a major shipping route in and out of London. I’ve spent a couple of years documenting it, focusing on our interaction with the usual places that occupy the land alongside it.
The coast is home to a diverse mix of industry, human habitation and leisure, all co-existing with the natural environment and varied wildlife. Different communities, different relationships to the estuary, living, working and playing – everything from marshes and mudflats to amusement arcades, power stations and wartime relics.
Essex is often the butt of tired jokes and stereotypes but has always been a source of inspiration for artists and writers, and recently I’ve noticed the area has become much more culturally active and vibrant.
I’ve lived in Southend, on the estuary, all my life. When I was a child, I took the seaside for granted, and it’s only now I’m older that I can appreciate how the coastline contributes to the identity of the entire area.
Find out more about Mark and his work here: