When the Prince Regent (later King George IV) built his seaside retreat in the small fishing village of Brighthelmstone in 1842, he didn’t know what he was starting. Or maybe he did? After all, all the fashionable world of his time followed his lead in everything, so it was only to be expected that they would follow him to the town that soon became known as Brighton.
There they would ‘take the cure’ recommended by the society doctor Richard Russell, drinking and bathing in the seawater to alleviate various illnesses. They would promenade by the sea and in the newly-created gardens; visit a spa and the theatre; and, if of the highest ranks, would be invited to the Prince’s magnificent Royal Pavilion.
The Royal Pavilion
Today visitors still flock to Brighton, just an hour’s train ride from London. And it is still fashionable, albeit in a rather different way. In fact, ‘difference’ is a key part of its appeal. The town is proud of its diversity and inclusion, particularly of the LGBT community. It has trendy shops selling vintage clothing and ethnic jewellery; more vegan restaurants and independent coffee shops than I believe I’ve seen anywhere else; and a proliferation of street art.
But it also has its traditional seaside elements: piers, ice cream and fish and chips, a promenade lined with hotels … I’ll come back to those in a future post but for today here is a selection of the best of the street art that I could find for this week’s Photographing Public Art and Lens Artists challenges. Look out for the genuine Banksy hidden among them!
As always, please click on any image to open a slideshow
I last visited Brighton in October 2021 when all these photos were taken