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(work in progress)

This Last of Meeting Places explores the coastline, wild beaches and pine dunes of north-east Italy; a  fragile environment of shifting boundaries, at once quiet and disquieting. The series was inspired by T.S.Eliot’s poem, The Hollow Men, which takes place in a landscape set somewhere between existence and nothingness. A last meeting place for humanity where the hollow men of the title stand huddled together in limbo without defined form, gesture or substance. It famously ends with the world’s end, ‘not with a bang but a whimper’. 

Eliot’s poem inspired Neville Shute’s book which itself became Stanley Kramer’s 1959 film, On The Beach, and it is interesting how many apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic films use the beach as a setting (The Last Wave, 1977, Mad Max, 1979, The Road, 2009 amongst others). The beach perhaps represents a kind of portal to our emergence and our disappearance. A liminal space between habitat and wasteland, transience and eternity. It is a journey’s beginning and a journey’s end.

When it was released in Italy, Kramer’s film was titled L’ultima Spiaggia (The Last Beach), perhaps a better title than the original and a phrase that in Italian came to represent a situation of last hope. A final chance. My photographs in this series are a personal response to the period we are living through and its sense of impending upheaval.


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