In 2011, I took a series of Animal Thanet images entitled Pegwell Safari – down on the abandoned concrete apron of the former Pegwell Bay Hoverportat Pegwell Bay, Thanet. These images formed part of a postal art project.
Some of the images show the cooling towers & chimney of the former Richborough Power Station, which were demolished by explosives at 09.07am on 11th March 2012.
These images consider & reflect wider concerns for the natural world, particularly focussed on the lives of its wild animals, conservation, loss of habitat, diminishing numbers, poaching, extinction and callous exploitation, which holds a mirror to our humanity. We may soon only have plastic versions of our wild neighbours to play with. The last decade has witnessed the slow & horrible realisation that our negative impact on the planet and particularly our plastic pollution of almost every environment, is a catastrophe for the world around us.
In March 2011 a Sperm Whale beached and died at Pegwell Bay. I remember running along the beach at low tide all the way from Ramsgate to see it. A whale necropsy was carried out the following day, which was astonishing to see.
Other images were taken earlier in April 2008, of plastic animals from my collection at various sites in Ramsgate and along Ramsgate Main Sands and the Thanet Coast –
The images clearly show the scale and impact that the Coastal Protection Project has had on the local area. The additional public realm and and amenity space that the works have provided is shaping the way that the seafront engages with the Old Town and Harbour. Even at high tide, the Old Town is accessible from the beach, which had previously not been possible. The wonderful coastal setting which has become the backdrop for the regeneration of the Harbour Arm, Custom House, Turner Contemporary, Old Town, Margate Steps and now finally Dreamland coming on stream has really made Margate magnificent once again.