Robin Maddock is currently working in Nigeria – a long old way from Plymouth, which was the setting for his series God Forgotten Face. The project condenses suburban British culture into a collection of curious and familiar photographs, made from the perspective of a photographer who is used to moving around frequently. “I wanted to use a place which I knew well, to show a wider feeling about England,” he explains to us. “My father is from Plymouth, so we visited my grandparents often when growing up in Singapore, and it made a very strong impression on me. All the history, especially the Blitz and its consequent post-war rebuild, speaks strongly about where we came from and what we wanted to be.”
Rob describes the overriding atmosphere in Plymouth as one perched between beauty and ugliness. “It has been a poor place since the decline of the navy, and yet I saw its fortunes turning and got to know its peoples’ character.” The corresponding images are of a community which is archetypal in England – young goths and Emo kids snogging on benches, older people catching rays in Church gardens and elderly people taking a dance class on the seafront. Martin Parr is an obvious reference, but Robin’s work is much subtler in its connection with the seaside community. We can’t wait to see what he makes of Nigeria.