New project: Illuminations

Last November I went to Blackpool to photograph the town’s annual illuminations. I’d last visited the city in my early twenties, and memories of its camp festival of lights had stayed with me since.

The Illuminations were established in 1879 to prolong tourism in the colder months, and every year from late summer until November over one million lamps light up the seafront’s main road. Gaudy delights await: mermaids, astronauts and go-go dancers all hover above the drivers below. Huge tableaux depicting tales of pirates, Egyptian tombs and Alice in Wonderland jostle for attention with sponsored creations: local jewellers touting their glittery wares or huge letters spelling out “i’m lovin’ it”. By day, the displays are bare: all of their wires and tricks can be seen, like hair wrapped in rollers in preparation for a night out. But when the sun goes down they are suited and booted, a whirl of lit up magic moving in an unending dance.

See more of the project here.



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