Sunday, 28 June 2015
Seaside towns come into their own, visually, in brilliant sunshine, and Brighton more so than most. The architecture and "street furniture" are self-consciously decorative, as in most holiday towns, but there is an extra, improvised overlay provided by the residents that probably drives the local council planners nuts. "Seedy" always used to be the adjective of choice for Brighton -- it was where you went to spend a night with a paid "co-respondent" to give legal grounds for a divorce -- but the current generation have really taken "seedy" and run with it. From a photographic point of view, the sunlight really does bring out the best in the grime and the grafitti and the peeling paint.
I like a bit of delapidation, myself, and I've never been one for "neat and tidy". The inhabitants of Brighton evidently enjoy it even more, given how much they themselves contribute, whether actively (by covering every available surface with spraypaint and flyposters), passively (by overfilling their bins and failing to carry out minor repairs), or in person (by hanging around in public to show off their tattoos and the uniforms of their various subcultural affiliations). It feels as if the town is permanently in the aftermath of some vast ongoing party, which no-one can ever bring themselves to tidy up. Why bother? There'll only be another party tomorrow... And, besides, today it's sunny...