Based on his study of the secretive military base of Foulness Island, Neville Gabie’s latest publication, Coast, is a remarkable work. The latest phase of the ongoing Coast visual arts project, the book documents not just the off-limits community of 1500 souls off the Essex shore, but also the protection afforded to it, the unique place it has in Britain today and the impression left upon Neville as an alien, and often frustrated visitor. Described in The Independent by Will Self as ‘as strange a place as you can reach in an hour by train from London,’ MoD-owned Foulness Island is off limits to the public. Neville’s interpretation of this unusual place has involved kite-borne video films, a collaboration with an African writer, trawling car boot sales and a journey on a Russian cargo ship. His work also led to the reinstatement of footpaths across the island. Presented with a DVD, fold out map and colour images the book is an incredible reflection of secrecy and wilderness.
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