Over the last two years Simon Fremont has photographed images from the coastline of his home county Essex between Tilbury and Harwich. During those trips he has reflected on the role of the coastline as a border and how this will change with the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union.
Points of Departure – Tilbury to Harwich is Simon Fremont’s first solo exhibition and consists of new work. The ports of Tilbury and Harwich that bookend the coastal journey play key roles in trade between Europe and the United Kingdom. The landscape between them is similar to that found in our European neighbours and has become home to political and economic migrates that include Simon Fremont’s ancestors.
The work exhibited combines different subjects: liminal landscapes of the coastline, piers that project perpendicular to the coast pointing toward Europe and abstract images created from the structures found along the coast.
The coastal landscapes create a tranquil backdrop that is familiar though capturing the images during the blue hour has introduced an air of uncertainty that reflects the countries future relationship with its neighbours as negotiations continue to evolve in Brussels. The time day references the fact that time is running out to reach a deal acceptable to all parties.
Our new found interest in piers along our coastline plays to our sense of nostalgia for a time that predates the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union.
Abstraction of the coastal structures transforms them into a simulacrum of the water that surrounds them reinforcing the symbiotic relationship between the structures and the sea.
Fremont has returned to his photographic roots with this project of Essex landscapes, though he now incorporates a more sophisticated photographic language into the work compared to his earlier works. The resulting installation creates a dynamic harmony that encourages us to enquire and reflect on our own hopes for the future.