'If I were just curious, it would be very hard to say to someone, "I want to come to your house and have you talk to me and tell me the story of your life." I mean people are going to say, "You're crazy." Plus they're going to keep mighty guarded. But the camera is a kind of license. A lot of people, they want to be paid that much attention and that's a reasonable kind of attention to be paid...' Diane Arbus

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Blackpool Illuminations

Blackpool: Illuminations, Pleasure Beach, fish and chips, slot machines, breeze off the sea, trouser legs rolled up for a paddle and a glance up at the Tower on the way home. The archetypal English seaside resort. But there are other stories too, of industry and identity, of pasts and of aspirations, making and making do, passing through and arriving, observing and being observed. Night time stories, animal dreams and questions to be asked. Glamour or an attempt at it, tradition or its semblance. An invitation in a blank wall, apparitions of African deserts on a warehouse pavement, a teenage ticker tape parade ready for fame, VIPs with their badges to prove it, out-of-time manufacturing, handkerchiefed ladies and an unshod runner, an unwelcome welcome. Welcome to Blackpool.

Text by Hannah Jones