6 October – 30 November
Café W
Waterstones, 15 -16 Kings Walk, Hastings, East Sussex, TN34 1PH

Chris Coombes says of his exhibition: Are we a nation of shopkeepers, a title supposedly bequeathed upon us by the likes of Napoleon and Adam Smith? Are Hastings and St. Leonards any different from the rest of the country?

My intention was to record the wonderful heritage of our high street businesses in Hastings and St Leonards, together with their proud owners. Reminiscent of the old black and white photographs showing the owner standing stiffly outside his shop, full of hope and pride, my work takes this historical phenomenon and adds a modern twist to include a glimpse of the owner’s mind-set and character with their written thoughts.

How lucky we are to still have the diverse and vibrant businesses we have today. To have local people with an entrepreneurial spirit, willing to work hard and take a risk. We are told that very soon all our goods will be ordered via the Internet and delivered by drones, at the expense of the personal service we enjoyed in the past. But if we look up from smart phones for long enough, perhaps we can save our shops from the threat of Internet companies.

Perhaps we can become a nation of shopkeepers once again.

Image Credit: Chris Coombes

Information: Waterstones Hastings

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