Tuesday, January 12, 2021


As someone working in the creative arts, it must be galling to accept/win a commission and deliver on the brief, only for the results to be rejected. That's what happened to photographer Michael Bennett - a decision that seems even more bizarre when you consider the quality of the photo series he produced in 1979 in response to a commission from the Mostyn gallery in Llandudno.

Assigned the task of capturing "the melancholy of seaside resorts out of season", he did just that - only to discover that they apparently didn't want the "reality, grit and detail" that makes the images so striking.

The episode was compounded by the fact that the gallery then commissioned Bennett to submit a second set of photos taken in the summer, but felt that those too were not good enough to form a solo exhibition.

Thankfully, the two series have now effectively been rediscovered and reevaluated thanks to a speculative submission to the Turner Contemporary's exhibition Seaside Photographed last year and then the article on the BBC site. Wider exposure and recognition of their worth was both deserved and long overdue.

(Thanks to Jon for the link.)

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