REVIEW: A Nation Of Shopkeepers? photographic show by Chris Coombes

Chris Coombes
Chris Coombes

During an interview with Chris Coombes, we delved deeper into the intentions behind his latest project.

When setting out with this project, Chris’ intention was to use photographs to record the heritage of Hastings’ High Street with businesses and their owners.

Hendy in Hastings Old Town - Chris  Coombes

Hendy in Hastings Old Town - Chris Coombes

Having noticed the internet’s impact on trading and the role of traditional shopkeepers, such as those running stores on Hastings High Street, Chris wanted to document how many of the businesses are still family run.

Chris noted that in the two months he’s been working on this project, his photographs have mostly been focused around humans in an urban setting rather than landscape photographs and that the biggest hindrance to his work has been natural, physical aspects including the weather and cars being in the way.

The project encouraged shop owners to socialize with each other, which helps to sustain the sense of community.

When printed, Chris prefers to use landscape rather than portrait photos with low saturation and a uniform style of each shopkeeper standing in front of their shop. Each photo also displays a short message from the shopkeeper. This exhibition is currently on display at Café W in Waterstone’s, Hastings. By Lucy Shaw.