• Top

    Charlie Clift: Faces of the Flood

Photography

Photography: Portraits of those helping to tackle the UK floods, by Charlie Clift

Posted by Liv Siddall,

The UK has taken a real battering from the sky of late, leaving towns all over the place drowning in seemingly endless floods. The news have become accustomed to using the term “Dunkirk” when alluding to the spirit of the townspeople in the most hard-hit areas, which is accurate to say the least. Photographer Charlie Clift decided to champion the members of the public who have been waist-deep in water (sometimes sewage) for the last few weeks and take their portraits for his new series Faces of the Flood. “I realised I needed to do something to record the floods and help those affected. After a small bout of research I realised that the efforts of volunteer groups and services were amazing. So I travelled to the Somerset Levels to join them.” Charlie told us.

“Immediately on my arrival to any flooded area I came across loads of people helping out. There wasn’t a split between authority and volunteers, just everyone working together getting their feet wet and their hands dirty. Some had taken time off work, others had travelled down from London or Yorkshire, and specialists had worked non-stop for over a month. Although the damage to buildings and homes was horrible it was fantastic to see the community spirit and helpful attitude of those lending a hand. I hope my images help promote their efforts and encourage others to help out as well.”

  • 17

    Charlie Clift: Faces of the Flood – FLAG volunteers Aaron and Jay transport a trapped Environment Agency van over the flood waters on a floating pontoon.

  • 16

    Charlie Clift: Faces of the Flood – Rob from Pump Supplies has been working 14 hour days getting the pipes in place to help drain the floodwaters.

  • 15

    Charlie Clift: Faces of the Flood – James, a farmer from the Mendips, helps move donated hay bales for the relocated livestock.

  • 14

    Charlie Clift: Faces of the Flood – A Moorland villager clears debris in his front garden.

  • 12

    Charlie Clift: Faces of the Flood – Tina works alongside her mother and friends to aid those who are flooded in Moorland.

  • 11

    Charlie Clift: Faces of the Flood – Jim, the landlord of the King Alfred Inn in Burrowbridge, organises food donations for the flood victims. 

  • 9

    Charlie Clift: Faces of the Flood – A member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Organisation from South London wheels wood-chip.

  • 6

    Charlie Clift: Faces of the Flood – Boris helps move donated hay bales for relocated livestock.

  • 7

    Charlie Clift: Faces of the Flood – Jo helps those flooded by strengthening the riverbanks with wood-chip. 

  • 5

    Charlie Clift: Faces of the Flood – Dave widens a waterway with his digger to move floodwaters towards the pumps

  • 4

    Charlie Clift: Faces of the Flood – Ritchie, Dean and Daniel from South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue help pump water from a drainage ditch into the River Parrett.

  • 3

    Charlie Clift: Faces of the Flood – Members of the Avon and Somerset Police visit people still living in their flooded homes

  • 2

    Charlie Clift: Faces of the Flood – A pump engineer lays a new pipeline to drain floodwater threatening dry homes.

Ls-300

Posted by Liv Siddall

Liv joined It’s Nice That as an intern in 2011 and worked across online, print, events and latterly Features Editor before leaving in May 2015.

Most Recent: Photography View Archive

  1. Mikhael-subotzky-_-patrick-waterhouse-l-untitled-3_-ponte-city_-johannesburg_-2008itsnicethat-list

    Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse, from South Africa and the UK respectively, were last night awarded the 2015 Deutsche Börse Photography Prize for their publication Ponte City.

  2. Chadwicktyler-itsnicethat-list

    There’s an awful lot to like about American photographer Chadwick Tyler – his name, his wonderful work, and the first answer he gives during this 2009 interview with Dazed.

  3. Crash-jacquemus-itsnicethat-list

    When Simon Porte Jacquemus won the esteemed LVMH Special prize last week, not only was his presence cemented in the hearts, minds and fashion editorials of stripe-loving fashion aficionados (fashionados?) worldwide. The occasion also marked the beginning of an exciting new era for the young French designer where financial aid will be slightly less difficult to come by, allowing him to make more, bigger, better collections. Hurrah! With any luck, Simon will soon be applying his silhouette-transforming pieces to more bodies and making more funny giant-pants-to-be-worn-as-dresses in the process.

  4. Hannah_whitaker_blue_shirt_it's_nice_that_list

    At first glance you might mistake the puzzle-like, optical quality of Hannah Whitaker’s photographs for the work of Photoshop, but her experimental images are surprisingly physical. A far cry from a nostalgic experiment with film, Hannah plays with ideas about the technical and the handmade as much as she confuses the conventions of photography and abstract art. Throughout her work, grids and mosaics of dots and triangles appear across wintery landscapes and still-lifes.

  5. Namsa-leuba--acrobats-itsnicethat-list

    Half-Guinean, half-Swiss photographer Namsa Leuba is a champion of African visual culture. She channels the contrasts of her African-European roots by looking at tribal identity through a western lens, and for her series Ya Kala Ben – meaning “crossed look” – Namsa draws on the overlapping cultures of her upbringing and explores the rituals and customs of her mother’s native Guinea. Her striking images have been exhibited alongside Martin Parr and Viviane Sassen, and these portraits of local Guinean acrobats who perform at different ceremonies in Conakry are part of the new group show at Tiwani Contemporary, the London gallery that was one our favourites at the debut edition of Photo London last week.

  6. Francesca-jane-allen-champion-sportswear-1-list

    We’ve long championed young photographer Francesca Jane Allen. As one of our 2014 Graduates, her work caught our eye for its “lucid, candid photography depicting youth, friendship and true love,” as Liv Siddall put it. Since graduating, Francesca has worked for brands including Topshop and Kickers, and secured commissions for mags like i-D. Sounds like a success story to us, but the reality of life as a freshly-graduated freelancer is one of fear, very hard work and never feeling satisfied.

  7. Bruce-gilden-a-complete-examination-of-middlesex-its-nice-that-list

    Photographer Bruce Gilden has a way with women. Not in that way, of course, but take a look at his photographs of the powerful women of Wall Street for Vice and you’ll see what we mean. The way he shoots is unflinching, apparently unstyled and often unflattering; but the images produced are so arresting in their intensity that the mascara’d gazes of his subjects are extraordinarily powerful. Bruce’s new exhibition at London’s Cob Gallery is just as dynamic as we’ve come to expect, showing a project named A Complete Examination of Middlesex. According to the gallery, the series is “a portrait of Gilden’s experience of London,” compiled with the Archive of Modern Conflict to create the sense of a modern day flaneur observing the ever-changing, often weary faces of the city and its inhabitants.

  8. Martin_usborne_spanish_hunting_dogs_it's_nice_that_list

    The Spanish greyhound has a history running back through to the Middle Ages, standing at a nobleman’s side, in oil paintings or perhaps most famously in the opening sentence of the Spanish literary classic Don Quixote by Cervantes. London-based photographer Martin Usborne’s latest project Where Hunting Dogs Rest centres on what he calls their fall from grace; a darker side to the modern story of these blue-blooded dogs.

  9. List_michael_james_obrien_girlfriend_itsnicethat

    For the past 30 years, Michael James O’Brien has photographed drag queens from around the world. His latest exhibition Girlfriend, on show at Liverpool’s international photography festival now, displays wonderfully glamorous images that encapsulate the freedom, majesty and spirit of drag culture.

  10. List-its-nice-thativar-wigan_princess_2012

    Images of gangs and strippers are nothing new, and their creation is fraught with the risk of appearing insensitive and patronising at best, exploitative at worst. So for them to pique our interest, they have to be very special. The works of Scotland-born photographer Ivar Wigan are exactly that. Ivar’s recent work has seen him documenting the street culture of Miami, Atlanta and New Orleans, and their often seedy, rarely glamorous underpinnings. And while the images undoubtedly have a voyeuristic slant, central to them is a sense of admiration and empathy, rather than pity or profiteering.

  11. Ruth_van_beek_rehearsal_it's_nice_that_list

    London is the most Instagrammed city in the world, but this week photography has hit the capital like never before. Over the next four days some 70 galleries have taken up residence under Somerset House’s neoclassical roof, bringing together a mix of vintage and contemporary prints for the largest photography fair ever held in London.

  12. Emily_stein_ponyclub_2its-nice-that-list

    Emily Stein is one of those photographers who manages to distill joy and affection into a single image, taking a snapshot of time and energy that bursts out of the frame. In her newest series, Pony Club, the feverish intensity of these kids’ love of rosettes, silks and above all, sweet hairy little ponies is palpable, with just the same amount of effervescence and fun as her previous projects looking at teenagers in a moshpit or kids blowing bubblegum.

  13. Adrian_samson_heatwave_its_nice_that_list

    People-watching is a pastime of mine – the hellos and the goodbyes after two people have just met are my favourite moments, with clunky air-kisses and unnecessary waving being tell-tale signs of an awkward first meeting. If you’ve never got into staring at people going about their day-to-day business (why not?), Adrian Samson’s series Heatwave is a great place to start.