Ian Land is a photographer living in Hastings, East Sussex. He regularly publishes and exhibits, and is an experienced darkroom teacher.
'On June 23rd 2016 a narrow majority voted
for the UK to leave the EU. In the wake of this
vote mainstream British politics has polarised
in a way most of us have never seen before.
For some years I had intended to walk from my
home in Hastings along the coastal route all the
way to London. The original idea was to take
photographs of everything except the sea itself,
to show the effects of the sea on the landscape
and the built environment, but to avoid the
customary dramatic seascapes so traditionally
beloved of photographers and painters.
I began the project in September 2016. As I
started planning the route it became clear most
of my walking would be through Sussex and
Kent coastal regions which had voted solidly
for Brexit in the referendum, and as I began the
walk itself, I realised the referendum result had
changed my attitude to the coastal landscape I
love so much. As I walked, Union flags seemed
much more prominent than I recalled previously,
the multitude of Keep Out and Private signs
which had always been there took on a sinister
air, and the irony of walking for many miles
on land closer to France than it is to London
became overwhelming. For the first time in years,
Englishness and the English landscape began
to feel alien and forbidding to me, and during
the two and a half years the walk took me, the
country lurched deeper into crisis, chaos and an
ascendant far-right authoritarian populism.'
42 pages of photographs and texts