2021 Shortlisted

Chanel Irvine – Another English Summer

By June 16, 2021 No Comments

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In the summer of 2019, the UK was desperately trying to reconcile the uncertainties and realities of Brexit. In the summer of 2020, the UK was just emerging from its first national Covid-19 lockdown. The warm, unseasonably pleasant weather during the early lockdown months granted people the ability to enjoy long walks and rediscover the simple joys of a picnic or time spent in one’s garden. Then, when travel restrictions eased, Brits recognised the true value of a “staycation”, and all matter of adventures they could have without stepping foot on an airplane.

Millions flocked to the beaches, Cornwall received the most travel press coverage in its history and freedom of movement seemed to restore people’s confidence in the phrase “this too shall pass.” With a heightened collective awareness of our planet’s need for an improved commitment to sustainability – and the accompanying need to support one’s local – it was inevitable that Brits would be loading their cars for road trips; eager to explore their own backyard in a way they hadn’t before.

For this project, I documented my own travels throughout England – from Kent to Devon, Cornwall to Shropshire, constantly drawn to the quintessential and the nostalgic; traditions, joys and sights seemingly unaffected by the global pandemic we are forced to coexist with. Our return to “normal” still seems beyond reach, so it remains only natural that we continue focus on the opportunities we do have at our disposal – and those we can share them with.

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