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Photographer highlights impact of coastal erosion on Norfolk and Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 07:00 24 March 2018

John Walker has been showcasing examples of coastal erosion in his recent exhibition. Picture: John Walker

John Walker has been showcasing examples of coastal erosion in his recent exhibition. Picture: John Walker

Archant

As recent events demonstrate, the threat of coastal erosion is becoming increasingly pertinent.

John Walker has been showcasing examples of coastal erosion in his recent exhibition. Picture: John WalkerJohn Walker has been showcasing examples of coastal erosion in his recent exhibition. Picture: John Walker

But even before numerous homes at The Marrams in Hemsby had to be evacuated after the sand dunes below were dismantled by wind and waves, a talented photographer was highlighting their impact on the East Anglian coastline.

Over the past two weeks, John Walker has been showing his latest collection of work - entitled ‘Coastal Erosion’ - to members of the public at the Coconut Loft in Lowestoft.

John Walker's exhibiton dedicated to coastal erosion. Picture: John WalkerJohn Walker's exhibiton dedicated to coastal erosion. Picture: John Walker

The 69-year-old, who lives in Kirby Cane, decided on the theme after being inspired by a passage within William Shakespeare’s ‘Sonnet 64’ and, having captured various images of erosion along the East Anglian coast, has attempted to use his photography to refer back to the sonnet.

In light of the recent devastation, Mr Walker believes the one positive could be increased awareness about the imminent dangers faced by the Norfolk and Suffolk coast.

John Walker has been showcasing examples of coastal erosion in his recent exhibition. Picture: John WalkerJohn Walker has been showcasing examples of coastal erosion in his recent exhibition. Picture: John Walker

“Events in Hemsby have certainly brought coastal erosion to the public’s attention,” said Mr Walker, whose exhibit of 20 photos showcased the impact of erosion from Happisburgh down to Southwold

“If anything, it exposes the futility of trying to hold the elements back; the thing is, can we really do anything about it?

John Walker has been showcasing examples of coastal erosion in his recent exhibition. Picture: John WalkerJohn Walker has been showcasing examples of coastal erosion in his recent exhibition. Picture: John Walker

It was really great to have all sorts of people coming to see the exhibition, including one gentleman who has spent his life studying coastal erosion.”

Since beginning to take a keener interest in photography after his retirement, Mr Walker has gone on to become a Licentiate of the Royal Photographic Society (RPS), an honour which recognises a high standard of achievement within the field.

All of images being exhibited were captured in 2017. Picture: John WalkerAll of images being exhibited were captured in 2017. Picture: John Walker

His main interests are urban decay and street scenes, while he is also the resident photographer for homelessness charity Emmaus in Norfolk and Waveney.

“My work often deals with people on the edges of society, people who are suffering from deprivation - much like the coastal scenes suffering from erosion.”

“People’s livelihoods are quite literally falling down; people’s lives are crumbling to pieces.”

With his exhibition period having come to an end, Mr Walker is now looking to do more work for Emmaus. Visit his website to see more of his work.

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