British Seaside shelters photographed by Will Scott

Photographer Will Scott’s poetic documentation of British beach fronts is compiled in a new exhibition and photobook by Heni Publishing

Over the last couple of years photographer Will Scott has been documenting the British seaside; his focus specifically on seaside shelters. His moody images of these places of refuge illustrate the hesitant relationship Britons have with the beach.

The structures represent a range of architectural styles and most – having being built in bygone eras – make for charming subjects of a photo story. Scott’s images frame them as if visitors from another time. They series of images has been brought together in a book by Heni Publishing.

Eastbourne © Will Scott
Skegness, Lincolnshire © Will Scott
Southsea, © Will Scott

Though he didn’t especially seek out empty spaces, most of the images are devoid of people. “It wasn’t deliberate at all,” Scott explains, “I just shot them as I found them and it was done through all the seasons. They were often done in the morning though when the beach tends to be quieter. I also think that the nature of the structure is that anyone sitting there will likely only stay for a short time. Whether it’s a quick breather or to grab something to eat or drink.”

The photos are contextualised with an essay by Edwin Heathcote, the Financial Times’ architecture and design critic. “There is nothing, quite possibly, more British than the seaside shelter,” writes Heathcote in his introduction to the book, “the sense it embodies of a struggle against the elements; the loneliness of a small structure outlined against the vast horizon of the sea on a rainy day; the optimism of a day out at the seaside despite the weather.”

Clevedon pier © Will Scott
Trusthorpe, Lincolnshire © Will Scott

Seaside Shelters is out on July 19, published by Heni Publishing, £14.99, and the work will be on view at Heni Gallery in Soho, London till August 19;; @willscottphoto


Milton Keynes