Every pier, from the grandest to the most modest, has its own story. In this collection of one hundred beautiful paintings, Paul Tracey combines his skill as a draughtsman with his creative flair as an artist to capture the very essence of these structures and to provide snapshots of their individual stories.
Many piers were originally built as wharfs for ships to load and unload goods. Then, as the railways expanded and people were able to travel further afield for trips and holidays, they became destinations in their own right: places to promenade, to meet and to be entertained. Innovative Victorian engineering created piers that could better withstand the vigours of the sea yet still provided elegant spaces to be enjoyed. This historical development was mirrored around the world.
Researched and executed over five years, 100 Piers includes historic postcards, concert programmes and newspaper articles about the piers. Many piers are no longer in their prime, some have gone completely, lost to the tides of time. But through the paintings, with their dynamic lines, varying perspectives and bold colour combinations, Tracey successfully captures the vibrancy and vitality of these structures. His work ensures their place in history is not forgotten and that the many piers which remain may continue to be cherished as much as ever.