This new year we took a trip up to Edinburgh for the Hogmanay festival - a VERY long way from the southeastern seaside. Edinburgh is a fascinating city, much taller than I ever knew, and has been wonderfully preserved - feeling very historical. Funnily enough, one of my most favourite parts of our long weekend was the trip up to another part of the UK on the train. Some of our journey ran alongside the northern coastline which would show fields butting right up against sandy bays and violet seas. Quite different to what I'm used to seeing from a train in Kent and the Midlands. It reminded me of just how contrasting British scenery can be, even within a different part of our own island.
Nick Hand, a photographer and graphic designer from Bristol, would know a great deal about this. He is a keen cyclist who spent a lot of 2009 and '10 on a lone bike trip around the coast of the UK interviewing makers, craftspeople and artists. I met Nick when he arrived in Margate from Whitstable and was looking to chat to local makers about their craft and history.
Nick is already the nicest and calmest man you'll ever meet, but his project 'Slow Coast' was such a wholesome and engaging one that I was thrilled to meet up with him and be interviewed about my set-up in Margate. We had a great afternoon in my Pie Factory studio and I got to hear as much about his fascinating journey as he did about my work.
I could talk a lot about the interesting people and beautiful scenery that Nick saw in his two trips, but he (and the people he interviews) do it a lot better. So I would HIGHLY recommend taking a look at his SlowCoast website and the sound slides he created from his photos and recordings. He is one of the best and most unassuming photographers I have ever worked with, getting beautiful shots from putting people right at ease. You can quickly tell from his blog and website content that he is a man who cares about good production, craftsmanship, and the importance of discovering new people and places. This reflects wonderfully in the photographs he takes and the projects he embarks on. In my mind his activities are well worth a follow, and I'm so pleased my own trip up the coastline has reminded me of his.