Seaham’s Blast Beach has an unnatural aspect; there’s plenty of nature at work but the canvas where she creates her art is man-made.
This industrial location was the setting for a 19th century steelworks; the blast furnaces that give the beach its name, but more significantly Dawdon Colliery sat on the cliffs above and sank sand and shingle beneath the spoil.
The North Sea tries her hardest to cleanse the beach of carbons and oxides, but the contours of the beach are a bastion against those efforts.
The driftwood at high water mark has two adversaries; marine muscle or chemical corrosion. These timbers have been surely been bleached by more than sunlight.
Beyond the ridge lie pools, silts and muds whose insubordinate colours suggest the work of photoshop to alter the evidence. They are saturated in both colour and chemical composition.
Yet in this centenary year of the Great War, Seaham has a reminder of a different blast. Further north, by the stone celtic cross of the town’s war memorial, a steel giant seeks respite. Respite from the enemy, respite from the trenches, respite from the blast of shells around him.
The car park behind him seemed a disturbance. Here was a time for photoshop to give the great man some privacy in reverie.