editd by Hayley Dixon and Joe Hill
Home to Essex girls and Basildon Man, our county has suffered from unfair stereotyping as a place of fake tans, boy racers, chavs and bling. Part of a long-term project, ‘Radical Essex’ is a book which overturns that warped view of our county. For Essex has always been a place of new ideas, pioneering communities, innovative social experiments and bold new architecture.
The Othona Community, established in 1946 in the Dengie Peninsula, is a religious retreat dedicated to enlightened spiritual dialogue and ecological self-sufficiency.
Earlier, in 1924, Wickford was the location for Britain’s first nudist colony. It was called Moonella and amongst its residents was novelist Ursula Bloom who earned a place in the Guinness Book of Records for writing over 500 novels.
And in architecture Essex has led the way. From the 1920’s worker’s village at Silver End with flat roofs, white rendered walls and art deco detailing to the new brutalism of Essex University’s iconic towers.
Also covering art and culture this book really gets beneath the skin of our fascinating county.
Published by Focal Point Gallery, paperback, £20.00.