Salt of Southend

“Salt seasons, it preserves, it improves. In Southend it’s in the air we breathe and it’s on the best fish and chips in the country. The people featured in this book do the same thing; every day they get up, and improve the borough in their own special way.”

Rich With

Last year I was asked by Grow Co to be part of Salt; a book being published by Southend Town Council to entice Londoners to live this end of the Thames and show them a taste of the culture, aside from the image typically conjured up when you think of Southend-on-Sea. I was picked for my tech-heavy bias and got to do this gorgeous shoot by the water with my little gold Macbook.

I had the photographs taken around March last year in some downtime between traveling. It was a beautiful day and we were lucky to be able to use the park opposite my house as a stunning backdrop for the piece. I was also lucky to work with Ian Sanders again who brought life to my words with his fabulous storytelling.

Fast forward to this week (August) and the book was being launched at the local art museum coupled with large prints of some of the photographer’s favourite works plus a little informal fish and chip supper by Oldhams (who also feature in the book). I also got to catch up with my yoga teacher, Paula – who I haven’t seen in years. I was one of the first members of Mayura Yoga back when it opened and then had to leave when I worked in LA – I have no excuse for not getting back to it since coming home, however, something I need to rectify!

I’ve lived in Southend all my life but I’ve been lucky enough to travel and temporarily live in different places for work. As much as I don’t think you can beat being part of the NYC rush hour; joining the commuters stomping their way into the four corners of Manhattan – I equally love the peace and tranquility living by the seaside brings to my life.

My salon, Blushbar – resides just up the road in Leigh-on-Sea within the borough of Southend, and on my many trips along the seafront to the shop, I get 15 minutes of peace and quiet to just enjoy driving in parallel to the Thames Estuary and gather my thoughts for the day.

The Salt Exhibition is running for the next few days in Southend but then coming back to the Beecroft Art Gallery for a month in December. For anyone local – the book is available to buy from the Beecroft Gallery in Victoria Avenue.