Clacton Pier – Project


Clacton Pier


The intent of this second trip to Clacton pier had two purposes first to retake images that on review on the computer had not resulted in the correct level of quality and secondly to expand on the reproduction of the deck texture through the using of rubbings.

Equipment Used

Similar to the other pier shoots I decided to use two DSLR cameras the 5Ds and 5D Mk3 with the 24-70mm f2.8 and 70-200mm f2.8 lens. To create the rubbing I decided to use some lightweight black art paper and metallic coloured crayons.


Methodology remained the same as that used on the Walton Pier shoot with the exception that the image capture was intended to be less extensive because of the images already produced from an earlier visit.


Clacton pier had multiple trace objects that recorded the presence of people on the pier the first the common plaque on a bench on the pier. The second was a series of padlocks that recorded the passing of someone. In cities like Amsterdam the padlock attached to a bridge is used as a symbol of love for another person so it was interesting on Clacton pier to see the padlock represent a memory or trace of a person who has departed. In addition to these details the return visit to Clacton presented me with a chance to record additional deck rubbings. In one case I decided to use two different colours to signify land and water.

Research References

I did not undertake any further research for this shoot compared with earlier shoots of the piers.

Assessment of outcome

When I first visited Clacton Pier earlier in the summer I was unsure of the exact story that was developing through the images. As piers represented a way for people to be surrounded by water who might get seasick due to the motion on a boat. I could see parallels to the different classes of passage on ocean liners where the wealthy would be able to wander along the promenade deck whereas less well off passages in steerage would remain below deck not able to see the water but would be aware of its movement around them. The second narrative for me relates the the transition point between land and sea. The land is the physical world the here and now and sea the future or spirit world that is less fixed. The pier at right angles to the coastline attempts to give people access to the future and maybe the signifiers of individuals that have passed means the pier is a device to connect with the spirit world.

The ethereal nature of the deck rubbing would hint at the the presence of the spirit would visiting those that try to remain connected with love ones that have been lost.

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