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Exploring notions of nostalgia in the English landscape

Photographs, stories and music




Phil Curry



As a musician I’ve had a lifelong love of what we now call Americana, or American roots music - a term which spans everything from Delta blues to folk and indie rock. This fascination has also spilled over to my photography, through the work of people such as William Eggleston and  J Bennett Fitts - those images of places seemingly in the middle of nowhere; of run down motels, signs swinging half off their hinges and empty swimming pools, all portrayed in a dusty desaturated colour.


I began to wonder whether similar places existed in England and more specifically around where I live in Kent. Recently, by chance visiting a friend, she showed me her neighbour’s empty pool, which I just had to photograph. With a bit of post-editing, it could have been taken in 1959 and this planted the seed to search for my own nostalgic locations that have a certain resonance with that Americana atmosphere. 


To help reinforce this, I have written short accompanying stories, the protagonists looking back at a time when something happened that either affected them then, or sent them on a journey of discovery in later life. Most of the stories are written as 'stream of consciousness', i.e I start writing without any clear image of what the story will be about. The reader might like to imagine how the narrative unfolds, preferably in a comfortable chair with a glass of something nice.


I have also created a ‘soundtrack to the images and stories which can be heard here and also purchased from from my Bandcamp site:

I like my Americana, so I suppose you could call this... ‘Anglicana’.

Work in progress:

Although all the images and stories shown here (click on the image) will be shown as part of the 'Many Hands' group exhibition at The Pie Factory gallery in Margate in June 2024, the are only 10 tunes available here. I plan to take more images and compose five more pieces of music... so watch this space!

Frank's CaravanPhil Curry
00:00 / 03:13
The Feed ShedPhil Curry
00:00 / 03:53
The Pool/Clarissa's waltzPhil Curry
00:00 / 02:24
The SlidePhil Curry
00:00 / 02:29
The Pool Phil Curry
00:00 / 03:25
The Safe House Phil Curry
00:00 / 02:31
First KissPhil Curry
00:00 / 02:29
The Red BarnPhil Curry
00:00 / 03:17
DisembarkationPhil Curry
00:00 / 02:22
Adelaide Farm CafePhil Curry
00:00 / 03:11
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