Silent Sentinels: Essex Pillboxes Exhibition

Today, Saturday the 2nd of March 2013, saw the start of an interesting exhibition at the Beecroft Gallery in Westcliff: “Silent Sentinels”.

The exhibition highlights a number of wartime pillboxes in the Essex area, captured on film by local photographer Simon Isaac. There are hundreds of World War II pillboxes dotted around the countryside in various states of repair, marking an important part of Britain’s history, and in this exhibition, several of Simon’s more interesting finds are brought to life.

Simon Isaac
Simon Isaac, in front of a silent sentinel close to the A130

Simon, pictured here, was kind enough to allow Sarfend to attend a private viewing and to discuss some of the pieces. One of the more striking images features two toy robots, which are also on display. Simon explains that these represent the soldiers that had to spend a lonely existence doing the same repetitive tasks in lonely pillboxes, jobs that are often automated today.

Silent Sentinels display case, showing Simon’s camera and the iconic robots

Many of the local pillboxes have become overgrown with various flora and fauna, or become the victim of another form of art, graffiti, and this has all been captured by Simon’s vintage Leica cameras on both 35mm film and digitally.

If you have in interest in pillboxes, World War II, or just fancy the opportunity to look in more detail at pillboxes you may not realise are on your doorstep, “Silent Sentinels” is on display from the 2nd of March to the 23rd of March 2013 at the Beecroft Art Gallery, Station Road in Westcliff.

Silent Sentinels, on display at the Beecroft until 23rd March
Silent Sentinels, on display at the Beecroft until 23rd March

More details, and a preview of Simon’s work, can be found here:

One Comment

  1. Simon Isaac 3 March 2013 Reply

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