Those polaroid moments have come to mean something else now. Holding on to a sense of the snapshot, they are nostalgic by the nature of their production, catching a moment just as it passes but in their aging are now a film type imbued with a sense of history, transforming contemporary scenes into memories. And the transitional landscapes of seaside towns are perfectly suited for its film, already coated with that seaside holiday romanticism. Recognising the wonder of this relationship, photographer Rhiannon Adam’s located the ideal seafront, travelling to Margate, “the gateway to the sea”, a place stained with the memories of countless British summer holiday; of fish and chips and rock and ice cream and plastic buckets and a lot of concrete and arcades and created Dreamlands Wastelands.
With the aim of capturing a sense of the history of Margate just as it experiences a resurgence, Rhiannon focused on “what is beautiful about Margate – then, and now” whilst using an expired film to induce a sense of past, furthered by the cracks and imperfections of the film. Looking at her photographs, we are back on the coast, toes in the sand, smell of vinegar in the air, the tinny noises of the arcades echoing over the pier.