Seaside towns and the beach have long been the main “theatre” for photographers to study the spirit and mentality of the English. Back to the Sea (2015-16) stays in this tradition but shifts the focus onto the functional and mundane structures that underpin seaside life: coastal erosion defences. These structures – by echoing the form and function of defensive military fortifications – may project insular notions of national identity and evoke a sense of threat to England’s landscape.

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