Beyond the view: reframing the Sunbeam Photographic Collection

Shepherdson, K. and Ball, Rob (2014) Beyond the view: reframing the Sunbeam Photographic Collection. In: Beyond the View - Reframing the Sunbeam Photographic Collection., 11th July- 23rd August, 2014, Sidney Cooper Gallery, Canterbury. [Show/Exhibition]

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Before package holidays and jetting off on an aeroplane became the typical family holiday, British families would visit Margate for their summer excursion.

In the 1950s and 60s, the Isle of Thanet was ‘the place’ to go to visit the beautiful sandy beaches, arcades and where you could have your photograph taken by the Sunbeam Photographic Company.

The South East Archive of Seaside (SEAS) Photography has now made it possible to revisit those fond seaside memories at its latest exhibition, Beyond the View: Reframing the Sunbeam Photographic Collection, at Canterbury Christ Church University’s Sidney Cooper Gallery.

For the past two years, SEAS Photography, led by Dr Karen Shepherdson, Principal Lecturer in Photography at Canterbury Christ Church University, has been working in partnership with Margate Museum, Thanet District Council and members of the public to conserve, digitally archive and share the significant and beautiful photographs produced by Sunbeam. The archive is based the University’s Broadstairs Campus and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The exhibition will show more than 700 evocative images taken by Sunbeam and shall also include examples from internationally regarded photographers John Hinde and Tony Ray Jones who visited East Kent in the 1960s. In addition there will be many rare items on show associated with seaside photographic practice.

Dr Karen Shepherdson said: “For much of the 20th century the Sunbeam Photographic Company represented and reflected British culture. Sunbeam photographically documented on a vast scale life in the UK’s South East and specifically that of the coast.

“It is perhaps easy to regard such collections of commercial photography as ephemeral, yet the images within the archive and those to be shown at the summer exhibition are wonderfully worthy of reappraisal and reimagining.”

Importantly every Sunbeam image that members of the public have donated for digital scanning by the Archive will be included in the exhibition. SEAS Photography Archivist, Nigel Breadman said: “A major feature of the exhibition will be a wall-of-walkies, seaside photographs taken of people as they walked along the prom’ or sat on the beach.

“SEAS Photography has had in excess of 500 individual donated images and we have brought these together to celebrate life at the seaside. It is hoped that many visitors to the exhibition will spend time finding their own family within the exhibits.”

Item Type: Show/Exhibition
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D0204 Modern history, 1453- > D0839 Post-war history (1945- )
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts > N0002 General
T Technology > TR Photography
Divisions: pre Nov-2014 > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Media
Depositing User: Dr Karen Shepherdson
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2014 12:15
Last Modified: 17 Feb 2017 12:44

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00