Given that we live on an island and were never more than 100 miles from the sea (or something like that) its not surprising that the British coast provides an iconic place in most British peoples lives. Even if it’s just a stroll to the Thames, there’s something about the action of light on water and the meeting of the sea with the sky that stops time, just for a moment.
Perhaps only the weather trumps the sea in our collective imaginations. In Virginia Woolf’s novel Orlando (1928), 300 years of British history is evoked through changing weather and atmospheres. ‘A turbulent welter of cloud covered the city, All was darkness; all was doubt; all was confusion. The 18th century was over; the 19th century had begun’. The weather has meant different things to people at different times; ‘Weather gathers associations and our associations shape our experience of weather’ Alexandra Harris stated in Weatherland (2015). With climate change being felt worldwide, perhaps images of the glaring sun and a sun-bleached earth will start to bring forth more sinister connotations in British imaginations.
This selection of seascapes and landscapes is part of an ongoing project. It attempts to capture shifting moods in both the weather and the country in the early 21st century.