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Steart Common II by Gerald Clements

Steart Common II by Gerald Clements

 

Steart Common is one of three coastal commons on a low-lying peninsula with extensive mud flats extending into Bridgewater Bay in Somerset. Clements' image creates monochromatic patterns based on the forms and textures of his subject, the rocks, mud and shingle of the land bordering the estuary.

Four decades later the scene he observed was transformed. The area has always been subject to flooding, exacerbated in recent times by a combination of coastal erosion and rising sea levels. Between 1987 and 2014 the Environment Agency instituted a coastal defence strategy protecting homes and the local infrastructure but also, controversially, making large areas of the peninsula into salt marshes and the UK's largest wetland habitat - the Bridgewater Bay National Nature Reserve.