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Dungeness

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I took a photo excursion with colleague and friend Eleonora down to Dungeness. It’s a beautiful place on the Kent Coast, but beautiful in a very eerie way. It feels very elemental – still, until we approached the sea, which growled below us on a steep shelf from the shingle beach.

The Nuclear power station at Dungeness
The Nuclear power station at Dungeness

It’s famous for a few things; there are two lighthouses, Dungeness crab, the artist/film maker Derek Jarman Lived there, there’s a huge nuclear power station right on the beach, it has a couple of abandoned villages, acoustic mirrors and is home to a range of species that don’t exist anywhere else in the UK.

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Years ago I went there after breaking up with someone I had been with for a long time. It was an emotional time, and the environment was somehow apt to my situation. It felt really unreal. So, understandably, I was both curious and, to be honest, a little apprehensive of how It would feel to revisit. I can tell you it still feels really unreal as a place. Like it’s at the edge of the world, and it’s full of ghosts – it’s good to face your ghosts.

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Polo

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Dynamic – the match was amazing to watch. the horses seem so graceful from far off but they thunder their way around – which I really felt when I was close up.
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The above shot, as it appears in Kensington & Chelsea Today. One day only I’m afraid! http://www.kensingtonandchelseatoday.co.uk/
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it’s a bit more leisurely when theiy’re nowhere near the goal
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I was amazed by the skill. the ball is so small, and riding, and turning these skilled equestrians manage to score again and again – with a long mallet.
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Sylvester Stallone, once a competitive player, said of Polo:
“Playing polo is like trying to play golf during an earthquake”

English Beach

Looking for sea-life in Whitstable. A black and white version of one I’ve posted before

May Day Whitstable

Part of the procession at the May Day festival in Whitstable. It was great to see such rich tradition in the UK. Felt like i was being pulled into the past, in a good way. Looking up morris dancers briefly, I found that there were records of them going back to 1510. also made me think a lot about Tony Ray Jones – who I studied last year.

I also re-did the photography section of my website this week – feel free to have a look, and comment here! http://www.kevinricks.com

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Back drawing at the NPG

I went back at the Friday night drawing class at the National Portrait Gallery. I have talked about the Lateshift programme before. I’m not Leonardo DV but I’m comfortable with a pencil.
But i forgot there was a brief.
This time it was to take two pieces of paper a pencil and a marker. First on the larger piece of paper to just create the shading, and then to place the second peice of (tracing) paper over the top and complete the detail. It was actually really hard. Its like drawing backwards for most people. I think the most common approach is to draw the detail and structured lines first, and shading is essentially filling in.

The Last Resort

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Chris and Grant leaving the Turner Gallery 14 Dec 2012

It rained as if to punish us in Margate last Friday. My friends and I went to one of the oddest seaside towns to visit the relatively new Turner Gallery and a vintage clothes shop owned by Paul Brewer, a friend of Damon Albarn.

My friends (you can see them in this picture), told me Margate was listed by the Rough Guide as a must-see destination for 2013. Its the only British destination mentioned, the skyline is dominated by a unsympathetic tower block (Although i haven’t seen it the setting for this), and the art-deco cinema style front modified for a now abandoned amusement park named ‘Dreamland’. Nearby, the Cliftonville area is derided along the Kent Coast as an economically deprived, high unemployment area. In the BBC article linked above claims one third of shops remain vacant. In contrast he new Turner Gallery must have helped raise the profile of the town and drawn visitors in. Of the shops that are open many possess an independent and very english identity; tea shops, restaurants, and the vintage clothes shops such as that owned by Paul Brewer, these have a quality you’d expect to find in a major city but much friendlier.

I have to say I like Margate. It confounds me how a place that was once so popular feels so abandoned. But I wonder what effect the Rough Guide recommendation will have?

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