Friday, 22 June 2012

Brighton Pier

It's another cold, windy and rainy summer’s afternoon, and I am really missing the sunshine! So to cheer myself up a bit I have decided to blog about happier times, about a time when the sun shone and Brighton Pier beckoned. I am so nostalgic for those days (Monday afternoon to be precise!) that I thought I’d share a few photographs of a welcomed escape from London.

On the 20th May 1899, Brighton Pier was officially opened in a lavish ceremony, for which the Pier was illuminated by 3,000 light bulbs.

 So many sweets, so hard to resist!

…strike a pose!

The Pier was previously known as the Palace Pier. Following a name change to Brighton Pier this sign was attached in 2000

The view from the Pier of the Brighton Wheel 

The first pleasure piers were constructed during the early 19th century, and became extremely popular during the Victorian era.

Brighton Pier was Grade II listed on 20 August 1971

The carousel ride on Brighton Pier is known as Brighton Pier's Gallopers, and contains 45 hand painted horses. Each horse has their own name.

Tragedy and Comedy

 Guarding the Dome

Brighton unveiled their first Dodgem rides in 1932, just four years after the Messrs Lusse Brothers first brought Dodgem rides to Britain.

With two big drops and a loop the loop, Turbo Coaster is Brighton Pier’s popular rollercoaster

 Spinning Around!

 Waiting to be won

Scream if you want to go faster - and I’m not talking about the Terrorvision album ;-)

 Bling! There are two large amusement arcades on the Pier - The Palace of Fun and the Dome

 Brighton Pier took 8 years to be built - from 1891 through to its grand opening on 20th May 1899, and cost £27,000 to construct, a staggering amount for that time.

 I loved the Carousel décor in the seafront pub 

Goodbye Brighton Pier. We will be back soon!

All photographs © Samantha Edgley. All rights reserved

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Anna Masters: Street Pianos

On Thursday I spent an afternoon with talented artist Anna Masters. Anna is contributing to an exciting public art project entitled:  Street Pianos: Play Me, I'm Yours and has hand-painted 10 pianos which will be displayed in various locations throughout London. Anna Masters has been involved in other high profile art projects in the past, including The Elephant Parade and Jungle City, both of which were organised by the charity Elephant Family, and earlier this year she designed and painted an egg for the popular Fabergé Big Egg Hunt.  As I photographed Anna putting the finishing touches to her artworks, she discussed some of the key themes for this project including inspiration, audience participation, and how Street Pianos has differed from her involvement in previous projects.
For further details about Street Pianos: Play Me, I'm Yours please see:

“For me it's important to take part in these kind of events as it's a great way for people to see your work in unconventional settings - it opens up your work to different audiences.”

“It’s also good to be challenged to work in different ways; the brief, form and technical aspects of the work all inform your work in ways which you might not think about otherwise. Besides that, it's really lovely to work on projects which people get so much enjoyment out of!”

There are 50 gold pianos, designed and painted by 5 artists

“The inspiration for the design stemmed from the Festival itself - I wanted to create a design that linked to the music theme, but also related to my own practice which generally has an organic and natural focus."

“I found the design process for the pianos quite difficult as there wasn't one idea that sprang out for me. So I drafted up a few designs and then worked up the one that I felt happiest with. I then adapted it to the size and designs of the individual pianos.”

Street Pianos was devised by artist Luke Jerram, in 2008. This is the final year of the project.

These pianos will be used as part of the City of London Festival, who have organised Street Pianos for four years.

The pianos will be in public spaces around the City of London and it's neighbouring boroughs. The locations of them can be found at:

“In comparison to the previous projects, the pianos were a lot more challenging in terms of the time-frame and volume of work, which made me think more carefully about materials and the painting process.”

“The warehouse was Piano Logistics, in Hayes. All of these projects end up taking you to some pretty odd places - the elephant for Elephant Parade was in a shop front in Elephant and Castle, the tiger for Jungle City was in a disused library - which was pretty creepy. In comparison, the warehouse was pretty comfortable and accommodating!”


Time for a tune! Anna doesn’t just paint pianos beautifully...

There will be a road show of the pianos 18 June - 23 June, after which the pianos will be in their locations until 13 July.

“The Festival had selected artists with a much more urban feel than Elephant Family tend to pick, so it was good to work with people with such a different artistic background and skill-set to mine.”

2012 is the Festival's Golden Jubilee, so all of the pianos have a gold theme or link.

Anna Masters uses a range of different materials and techniques to express her artistic ideas including paintings, prints and large scale installations. Please check out her website here:

Thank you for visiting my blog :-)

All photographs © Samantha Edgley. All rights reserved

Sunday, 10 June 2012

The London Green Fair

The London Green Fair celebrated its 20th Anniversary at Regent's Park this weekend and I popped along (with my camera, of course!) to enjoy a sunny Saturday at the event.

A growing awareness of environmental issues within the capital has seen this once small Fair develop into a popular annual event, which attracts tens of thousands of attendees each year. The London Green Fair was launched in 1992 and was held in the railways arches at Kings Cross. However, as the popularity of this free event has developed, its location was changed to the more suitably green and leafy surroundings of Regent's Park. 

The London Green Fair has a varied and interesting programme. There was plenty of live music, market stalls, and talks and debates on offer. Plus there were glitter tattoos and free trees! This was a vibrant event which celebrated the achievements being made in the battle for a greener London.

The Amazing Cycle Powered Answer to Everything Machine!

Scythe demonstration

Audience participation

Watching the world go by

 Festival feet

Creating a buzz

Mr Blue Sky

The perfect place for a temporary tattoo...

…and some face painting

… followed by a bit of retail therapy!

In perfect harmony - The Segue Sisters

Pedal power in action

The Green Fair in bloom

Saturdays headline act - A.J Holmes & the Hackney Empire

Bassist Abi

Boogie time!

All photographs © Samantha Edgley. All rights reserved