Built by the Nazis during the Second World War, the sea wall 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 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.
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.
Gina Socrates is well known for her atmospheric, almost painterly photographs of the Jersey coast. CCA Galleries International are delighted to be showcasing this brand new body of work. The images developed from a lifetime of studying the Jersey seascape and capturing its unique light and changeable weather. Gina’s exhibition is an absolute must for anyone who enjoys the magnitude and exhilaration as well as subtleties of the Jersey coastline.
As Gina explains:’ 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.’