Diptychs on Brexit
As you may have heard, Britain voted to leave the European Union in a referendum on June 23rd. As one of the 48% who voted to remain, I was heartbroken by this outcome. I have always lived in London, but I have always considered myself a European, with a particular love of France, Italy and Greece. I have friends and relatives who live in Europe, and European friends here in Britain. I enjoy the ways in which other European countries are different from Britain (in particular, the sun) but I also appreciate what we have in common: a shared identity that goes back to Roman times. I decided that the best way to express this idea was through diptychs: pairs of photographs that highlight the similarities and the differences between Britain and the rest of Europe.
Old Hunstanton, UK | Oia, Santorini
Old Hunstanton and Oia are two maritime towns known for their colourfully painted houses. The Greek island of Santorini was devastated by an earthquake in 1600BC. I hope the impact of Brexit will not be quite as seismic!
Bath, UK | Venice, Italy
Known for its Georgian-era architecture, Bath came to prominence in the first century AD, after the Romans built a bathing complex around its hot springs. Venice is not quite as old (it was founded in 697). Both cities are a delightful mix of historical and cultural influences, with water at their heart.
Greenwich, UK | Paris, France
I live in Greenwich, and this avenue in Greenwich Park is close to the Royal Observatory and the Prime Meridian, the line that defines zero degrees longitude. It was chosen as the global standard over a rival meridian in Paris, another city with many lovely parks.
St Ives, UK | Kastellorizo, Greece
These two fishing towns at opposite ends of Europe have much in common, but very different weather. Kastellorizo is a tiny Greek island off the coast of Turkey where sea turtles swim in the harbour. St Ives has entertainment of a different sort: with The Tate and Hepworth House. I love them both.
What I’ve tried to show in these paired images is that Britain and Europe have their differences, but also have a lot in common. And (like the pictures in these diptychs) they go well together. Britain may be leaving the European Union, but it will always be part of Europe.