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  • Mark Wylie

Hayling Island

I have visited Hayling Island a couple of times recently for this month's zine project. It's a place that I have been to a few times over the last year or so, but all of the images for May's zine will be new work. Some of the photos from the most recent trips might eventually find their way into the South Coast project that I have been working on over the last year or so (I'll post an update on this work in the future).

I really like visiting Hayling as it has an 'old world' kind of charm. It reminds me of trips that I have made to Portland, the Isle of Wight, Swanage, and some parts of my home county, Cornwall. To me, these coastal places feel like the England that I grew up in. Unlike many modern areas which have undergone gentrification, these places still have a chintzy feeling. I often feel most at home in places like this, as they are not overly contrived.

Impressions of Hayling

Across the three visits that I have made to the island this month, I have focused two on the coast and one in-land. The coastal visits were quite productive, but the in-land visit was less so as I spent much of my limited time available checking out new locations. Whilst much of my work is focused on the intertidal zone, I would like to include at least some images from the island's interior. I might be only able to make one or two more visits before the end of the month, but with a bit of luck, I might be able to get another two suitable in-land images that work for the zine. We'll see...

My trips to the island are at a relatively early point in the tourism calendar. They have also mostly been made on Mondays. From this perspective, it seems that most of the visitors to the island are retired, older, and not that many in number. This lends itself to creating a quieter character to the work. Unlike, say the pulsating central areas of London, where people purposefully stride between once place or another, people on the coast here tend to sit, amble, relax.

Hayling is a place that cannot be understood in anything more than a superficial way within the limited timeframe that I have available to me. However, I hope that the images capture at least some sense of what is it like to visit this place. Ideally, I would like to get more people in the work at a future point, but for that I need to get back here more in the summer.

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