The stretch of coast near where I live, is not only easily accessible but also offers a variety of subjects, from the almost wild to the urban and at times industrial even. The cliffs are however the dominant feature against which the other subjects evolve.
Cleveland as a county has been in and out of existence, with regular changes of its boundaries. For this exhibition, I have chosen a historical definition, in accordance with Cleveland being the Cliff-Land of the north riding of North Yorkshire. For this reason, I have included that stretch of coast which runs from Staithes to Whitby, which has been part of North Yorkshire for many years now. This also helps to tie together the industrial heritage of this coast, based on alum and iron ore. It is thanks to the latter than Middlesbrough is the the size it is, and it is therefore proper for this exploration to start there.
Its history is marked by mining, first for alum and more recently for iron. This richness in geology translates in to wonderful foregrounds, while the colours in the cliffs provide stunning backdrops, especially in the summer evenings when the sun sets in the north-west and lights the coast in warm, golden light.
The project relates the effect of the industry on our landscape and also how we have created havens of tranquillity for ourself, such as the resort town of Saltburn. Now the fishing industry has subsided, we also get to enjoy picturesque villages such as Staithes and Runswick. The photographs demonstrate that the coast’s natural beauty can shine through once again: from the rich colours of the cliffs, to the varied flower life, by way of intricate patterns found on the shore. This project brings together the natural and the man-made in a unique voyage of discovery.
For information on how to purchase prints, please go to my online shop, where you will find these pictures in the portfolios "Teesside and Cleveland" and "The Cleveland Coast".