“On the Fringe”, 2018 | Andy Mellor


Andy is a photographer based in Blackpool in the North West of England. His photography explores natural and man-made environments and the interaction between how we use the landscape and the social and political issues surrounding it. Often exploring change and human impact, he is drawn to ordinary places, seeking to find interest in everyday spaces. His work is spontaneous and involves a process of walking and investigation and is a significant factor in the creation of the work.

We asked Andy to tell us more about his latest series.

Prior to the arrival of the tourist industry, the population of Benidorm numbered only 3,000 and its main economy was fishing. In the early 1950s, the industry started to decline. Faced with an economic struggle, the town council approved the ‘Plan General de Ordinacion’, employing all the town’s resources into tourism. A mass building programme was orchestrated to accommodate for the influx of visitors.

Tourism was the path to development yet it also contains the danger that development will destroy the very thing that people have come to enjoy. With tourism, it is not clear whether rapid development is in the locals’ economic interest.

The proliferation of all-inclusive hotels has been the subject of much debate over the years with local businesses struggling to keep afloat. The infamous catchphrase ‘if you want to get pissed, show us your wrist’ certainly rings true, with the reasoning that if they have already paid why go out.

This series represents the possible effect the all-inclusive package holiday can have on a place whose reliance is almost solely on tourism. In reality, the social relations surrounding tourism are complex and must be negotiated, contested and resisted.

To see more of Andy's work, visit www.andrewmellorphotography.com

All images and text © Andy Mellor