Abandoned Wrecks

Estuaries, marshlands, creeks and salt flats—the edge of the known world. These are the places that have fascinated me since childhood. The unseen and unvisited places between the water and the land. As a photographer I would explore these lonely, unloved places and photograph the emptiness. Names such as All-hallows, Dead Man’s Island, Whalebone Marshes and Egypt Bay appealed to my imagination. Occasionally I would stumble across a beached hull, stripped of its planks with only its oak ribs remaining. I had found my subject. They epitomized the wild, otherworldliness that attracted me to these areas. Object, sky and land had become one. I began to search them out.??I soon found that these abandoned wrecks littered our estuaries and mudflats. They were mostly wooden but a few were of iron and steel. They had been abandoned for many reasons. Some had been lived in and had deteriorated beyond repair, others were actual wrecks, beached in a storm, but most seemed to have just been parked and left.

There is some stunning photography to be seen on this site, but not enough. It’s a project-in-progress, rather like my own Margins series which was inspired by the idea people throw their rubbish into the river or sea expecting it to be swept away only for it to decay in the mire. I’ll find Margins on my Flickr and post it separately.

I am pleased to see John Whitfield has done the Hoo Peninsula. The marshy waterfront around Hoo St Werburgh is littered with hulks, and I paid it a visit a while ago. I ought to do it again. I keep saying that.

Tip o’the hat to Things Magazine.

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