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David Emery: La Cala de Mijas (detail)

Work / Photography

Photography: David Emery photographs expats living it up in the Costa del Sol

I have only fond memories of childhood family holidays in Spain – eating more ice cream than I ever believed to be humanly possible and stubbornly poking at geckos to see if their tails would fall off – but I’m not sure if I ever really met any Spanish people on them. It was more retired Brits with deep tans and wrinkly forearms who’d gleefully moved out of their terraced houses in the Midlands as soon as they’d retired, and were duly living it up on the Costa del Sol, and that kind of only added to the charm.

La Cala de Mijas seems like a similar kind of place to the ones I did my gecko-poking in, and photographer David Emery has done a marvellous job of documenting exactly the kinds of expats we’re so familiar with in his series by the same name. Executed with what would be better described as a quiet, sensitive admiration than an all out critical satire, David’s images capture that ineffable spirit of Britishness; tanned to within an inch of orange and spruced up in their best white linen, his subjects look strangely familiar like a couple my nan would greet warmly at Bingo. The line between satire and humorous but loving perpective is a difficult one to teeter in in subjects such as this, but David does it beautifully.

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David Emery: La Cala de Mijas

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David Emery: La Cala de Mijas

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David Emery: La Cala de Mijas

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David Emery: La Cala de Mijas

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David Emery: La Cala de Mijas

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David Emery: La Cala de Mijas

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David Emery: La Cala de Mijas