Original article The Guardian, 25th September 2018
Drifters and dreamers along the muddy Bristol Channel – in pictures
Love Bites is a solo exhibition by British photographer Tim Richmond,
at the Francesca Maffeo Gallery, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex until 20 October
Tue 25 Sep 2018 07.00 BST
Maxine, Bridgwater, Somerset
All photographs by Tim Richmond, courtesy Francesca Maffeo Gallery
Blue Anchor, Somerset
On a rainy November day, Richmond sat next to a young man at a bus stop. The lad, supping from a can of cider, sported a massive love bite on his neck. ‘He just sat there and waited for the bus with that enormous trophy of victorious passion from the night before,’ says Richmond. He never took the young man’s portrait, but this chance meeting gave him the title for this series.
Lap dancing club #1, Bridgwater, Somerset
For his series, Richmond wandered into damp seaside towns, where he encountered a cast of people that included transvestites, Latvian pole dancers and those experiencing homelessness – those at the margins of society along the muddy Bristol Channel.
The high-octane life of mainstream England races past Richmond’s subjects, perhaps a result of their choice, or for socioeconomic reasons. There is uncertainty about what has led to this situation and what might come next.
Doll, Quarry, Bristol Channel, Somerset
‘I am drawn to the characters and places by a gut reaction. The project evolves through a piecemeal process,’ says Richmond.
Untitled #89, Bristol Channel, Somerset
The project deals with contemporary Britain, with economic decline, rural homelessness, transgender concerns, economic migration, abandonment, decay and freedom of expression.
Drifter, Minehead, Somerset
It captures a certain authentic reality and has ties with the notion of a “broken Britain”, yet it is a document filled with hopes and dreams.
Fruit pickers’ caravan #12, Somerset
Plant, Watchet, Somerset
Richmond is influenced by the work of British realist film-makers such as Andrea Arnold, Paweł Pawlikowski, Shane Meadows and Ken Loach. Strong narrative elements scatter his images, resulting in an open-ended dialogue of the moment passed, or the one about to happen. These are images without an end, or a beginning, yet the more specific they are, the more universal they become.
Boxing Club, Watchet, Somerset
Richmond discovered his “colour palette” through the application of a cinematographers’ device, in which the hand-processed negative retains some silver, yielding a unique, subtle desaturation in the prints. Thereafter the printing is a heartfelt, poetic process, guided by memories of the moment that the shutter clicked.
Bristol Channel #41, Somerset
Room 31, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset