O.B.S.O.L.E.T.E - Dungeness series

Olivia Foskett

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Added 5 January, 2021 - 21:14

The images are part of a series exploring the coastal region of Dungeness in the southeast, in line with the theme of obsolete history.  In gathering the images I have identified 'relics' or 'monuments' to a reality which is consigned to the past. There are remnants of infrastructure from the era of beach-launched fishing fleets in this area, including wooden boats sitting on the shingle in view of the ocean. Winches are abandoned on the beach, dykes and levees which appear modern and mundane but are echoes of a historic legacy in which the dry land on which communities exist today was created by Roman occupiers of the British isles who used such infrasturcture to press back the ocean. The locally famed 'listening ears' of Dungeness are an impressive monument to a moment that never came, as the sound-echo technology was intended fro use in the second world war to hear enemy planes crossing the channel, but the technology was overtaken by the invention of radar and rendered obsolete before it fulfilled its purpose. The ears sit waiting now, a site for teenage graffiti and scenic dog walks, as if they might be needed someday. Finally the eerily flat and vast desert landscape of Dungeness plays home to the ghostly, mirage-like blocks of Dungeness power stations, which have been in a flux of decommission and rebuilding for a number of years, the original station outlasting its intending working lifespan, even as the debate about nuclear energy globally continues to be uncertain. In this remote location the power station, located far from towns but on the doorstep of certain unique and eccentric dwellings, is a matter of folklore, as much a part of the local landscape as the shingle and the tides. Stories of glowing three eyed fish are told to alarm the journalists.

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