We’re being spoilt for choice in Greenwich at the moment when it comes to seaside photography. Ordinarily, the show at the National Maritime Museum featuring legendary lensmen David Hurn, Tony Ray-Jones and Martin Parr would fulfil most art-lover’s needs. But last month also saw an extraordinary exhibition at the Greenwich Gallery by Kent-based Ross Andrews, who offered a view of the English seaside whose like I have never seen before.
Andrews dons wetsuit and flippers and immerses himself in the surf to photograph waves as they break on the beach. The 12 pictures on show at the Greenwich Gallery were all taken around Margate and Broadstairs – but some of them look as if they were shot off Hawaii. Two in particular – entitled Platinum and Green Room – were taken in the tunnel formed by a wave at the moment it crashes down on the shore. Both captured the staggering power and beauty of the sea. And the latter had such an otherworldly, eerie feel it could almost have been mistaken for a Hubble telescope photograph of a distant swirling galaxy. Other highlights of this fabulous show included White and Whisper, in which the sea-foam looked like ice-statues. Blue and Red were huge acrylic prints capturing two sunsets on the same stretch of water. And Beneath revealed an astonishing view of the shore as seen by someone half-submerged in the surf. If you missed this exhibition but have the opportunity to see another by Andrews in the future, grab it. Your soul will love you for it.