Member exhibition: Gina Socrates ARPS

02 November 2018


Closes: 23rd November 2018

PzM - A photography exhibition based on the Jersey sea wall.

Taking the sea wall as its primary subject, this series seeks to bring together the old and the new; to blend the past with the present, the dark with the light.

Built by the Nazis during the Second World War, the sea wall is a prominent feature of Jersey's coastline and was constructed to ward off a British attempt to recapture the Island. Prisoners of war from Russia and Spain, amongst other countries, were drafted in as slave labour to work under horrific conditions on the construction of what the Nazis called “anti-tank walls”; Panzermauren in German, abbreviated to PzM in their files.

With time, the sea wall has become incorporated into the Island's identity and assimilated into its inhabitants' collective consciousness, emerging through the years as a seemingly organic extension of the coastal landscape.

Copyright Gina Socrates 2

The wall both impacts, and is impacted by, the environment. Since its construction, it has protected the Island from high tides and strong winds and, without it, Jersey's coastline would have a significantly different appearance. The wall itself, though, is constantly changing as it continually bears the brunt of the barrage of elements from which it protects the Island.

This series of photographs contrasts the horrors of war implicit in the wall with the beauty of Jersey's coast and the life which goes about upon it. Through the use of multiple exposures, other surrounding elements are brought into relief; elements which both modify the wall's surface and its meaning: the beach, the sea, deckchairs, and shadows.

With the passing of time and the layering of memories, meaning changes. And the sea wall, that constant relic of war, now agedly sits, scarred by the elements, in counterpoint to signs of life and leisure, in a context of beauty and of peace. 

CCA Galleries International
10 Hill Street,
Royal Court Chambers
St. Helier


Picture copyright: Gina Socrates