Hannah Booth – Go Back to London You Muppet

Posted on Posted in Project Reviews
Hannah Booth explores the nostalgic charm of a North East seaside resort and how it can be misunderstood by an outsider in her project ‘Go Back to London You Muppet’.
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Image from 'Go Back to London You Muppet' (C) Hannah Booth
Image from ‘Go Back to London You Muppet’ (C) Hannah Booth
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Tell us about your project and it’s intriguing title.

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Seaton Carew /kəˈruː/ is a small seaside resort in County Durham, North East England, with a population of 6,018. It is situated on the North Sea coast between the town of Hartlepool and the mouth of the River Tees. The area is named after a Norman French family called Carou who owned lands in the area and settled there, while ‘Seaton’ means farmstead or settlement by the sea.

Besides the infamous stories and shabby exterior, Seaton Carew is embedded with history and a population that has fallen in love with its peculiar character. From John Darwin to the tenth oldest golf club in the country, there is a part of it that everyone seems to be proud of. The faded signs and old arcade machines create a sense of a place which is living in an era past but yet still manages to create the warm sense of nostalgia from holidays gone by. It is a place that people are glad to call their own.

This body of work is a direct response to an online article which created a scandal within Seaton Carew. Describing it as a ‘ghost town’ and where ‘fun fairs come to die’, the people of the town took to social media to express their views on how ill-informed it was and the lack of research the writer has done. From being a frequent visitor to the place myself, I wanted to express my own view and also the views of the people who live there. By creating a juxtaposition between the comments left on the article and the banal images, it gives a sense of what the place is like.  On the outside a little neglected but once you become a part of it you see all of what it has to give.

Displayed on A3 inkjet prints and as a photobook.

 

 

Image from 'Go Back to London You Muppet' (C) Hannah Booth

Image from ‘Go Back to London You Muppet’ (C) Hannah Booth

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Can you tell us what attracted you to this specific project and how it is different from your other work?

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The Vice article that it was in response to really stirred up a commotion amongst friends sharing it on facebook and leaving comments on the article. I have stayed in Seaton Carew and know its people and places well so I felt I could give it a fairer approach. It’s mainly different from my other work as this is one of the first times I’ve looked in-depth at social landscape or even landscape as a genre.
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Image from 'Go Back to London You Muppet' (C) Hannah Booth
Image from ‘Go Back to London You Muppet’ (C) Hannah Booth
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What is your favourite and least favourite aspect of this project?

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I feel my least favourite aspect of this project is probably the lack of people in the work, I feel I could have used people in the project more as in their opinions and comments as it would give it that extra scope and bit of life. I think my favourite aspect of the project is most likely the breadth of the shots I managed to get at all times of the day in all weathers showing it exactly how it is.
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Image from 'Go Back to London You Muppet' (C) Hannah Booth
Image from ‘Go Back to London You Muppet’ (C) Hannah Booth
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What is your connection to the north east?

My partner is from the area himself so I have been a frequent visitor for the past six years, spending a few of my teenage summers there. And now I am in my third year at Sunderland university so I have lived there for the past three years.
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Image from 'Go Back to London You Muppet' (C) Hannah Booth
Image from ‘Go Back to London You Muppet’ (C) Hannah Booth
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What is it about the north east that attracts you?

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The scenery and the people, a great contrast from the hills and valleys of Yorkshire it still is beautiful in it’s own way. I find the industry and the historical past intriguing. Plus the people are friendly and always approachable with some of my best friends coming from the area who I know will be friends for life.
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Image from 'Go Back to London You Muppet' (C) Hannah Booth
Image from ‘Go Back to London You Muppet’ (C) Hannah Booth
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Have you studied photography or art? If so where and when?

I have studied Art and Photography throughout GCSE, A-level and now at University level currently studying Photography, Video and Digital Imaging at Sunderland University.
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Image from 'Go Back to London You Muppet' (C) Hannah Booth
Image from ‘Go Back to London You Muppet’ (C) Hannah Booth
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Where can readers find out more about you and your work?

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The book can be viewed virtually on issuu.
and for general work on my Facebook page.

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