The year of no Bonfire
The last time there were no Bonfire celebrations in Lewes, it was 1960 and the town had just been severely flooded. It is not surprising that this year the event has been cancelled because of Covid-19. Even so, a week away from the 5th of November, it is hard to imagine there being no riotous, anarchic revelry.
Over the past months I have been working on a collection of Bonfire portraits, laboriously hand-printing them as cyanotypes. When I learned there would be no festivities on the 5th, I set up a pop-up exhibit of the photographs in a lovely old shopfront along the procession route. I thought of it as a tribute to the celebration that couldn’t be celebrated.
I have also published a collection of these portraits as a book. This week’s photo is the last image in the book – the goodbye shot of Smugglers marching down the hill wielding torches and flaming barrels.
Please also head over to The Grain Store Blog. I had the pleasure of being interviewed about this project for a lovely blog post written by Katherine Murphy.