Essex Chronicles: Photographs of life around the mouth of the River Thames

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The mouth of the Thames, in the southeastern corner of the UK, is one of the country’s largest inlets and a major shipping route in and out of London. Essex Chronicles is Mark Massey’s personal exploration of life along the northern side of this estuary.

“I’ve focused on our interaction with the everyday places that occupy the land alongside it, rather than life on the water itself,” Mark explains. “The coast is home to a diverse mix of industry, human habitation and leisure, all co-existing with the natural environment and varied wildlife. Different communities, with different relationships to the estuary, live, work and play here.

“Edgelands, marshes and mudflats rub shoulders with amusement arcades, power stations and wartime relics. To some, this is the land of ‘Estuary English’ accents and lazy stereotypes but it has always been a source of inspiration to artists and writers.”

Mark has lived in Southend, on the estuary, all his life. He adds: “When I was a child, I took the seaside for granted but now I’m older I can appreciate how the coastline contributes to the identity of the entire area.”

Mark has recently self-published a 28-page newsprint publication of the project, available for £5 plus postage. Discover more at markmassey.co.uk or follow Mark on Instagram.



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