Fifteen Years in the Intertidal Zone
Timber groynes are wooden structures consisting of posts and planking. They run down the beach from just above high tide to just above low tide. They slow the flow of shingle along the beach caused by longshore drift and protect the shoreline. They are literally wave-worn.
I systematically photograph the groynes on Bexhill beach between Cooden Beach Hotel and Groyne 121 to the east side of Galley Hill. There are potentially 121 groynes but in the intertidal zone, things are rarely that predictable.
Presented as sets of six photographs of a single post top from a numbered groyne; each documents the subtle and sometimes radical changes that take place over time. These photographs were taken over a minimum period of 6 years but often longer.
The pictures below are of a single post top from Groyne 76. Nine images were taken between 2002 and 2017.
Having viewed this post top in Groyne 76 over 15 years, I was fortunate enough to photograph it the day before Storm Aileen struck on 12 September 2017. I photographed the post top again within 24 hours of the storm passing. These images show the loss of the ferrule and the difference one day can make.
The final selection from the exhibition shows a large format photograph of Groyne 76 taken in September 2017, a single post top from Groyne 60 photographed from 2002 to 2017 and finally a single image of the same post top from Groyne 60 which was taken February 2018.
The post tops, like portraits of a person repeated throughout their life, are not only beautiful but provide clues as to the condition of the system.