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Photographs of the seaside

The cultural phenomenon of the beach vacation rose to popularity in late 18th century Britain as a popular medical theory to combat the rise in industrialization. The benefits of being at the beach were largely due to contemporary doctors believing that bathing in cold sea waves was beneficial for conditions like “melancholy” and “spleen” – an excess of black bile that made people introverted, depressed, or moody. Over the next two centuries, this prescription would not deviate too much and had developed in tandem with tourism, allowing an escape from everyday life. The feeling of holiday is indeed one to be relished and, unsurprisingly, attracts the artist. Also in 1845, for pioneer Anna Atkins, this increased ability to travel to the seaside spear-headed the photography of algae as a solution to the complexity of drawing it. In your happiest moments it is not uncommon to want to freeze them and hope they never end, which is what Hégémon strives to achieve in his seaside and seascape works. Whilst Ji Marie-Laure Inguimberti’s work evokes emotion and transports you to the salty air. 


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