Pier Closing Time
Commissioned for a photographic exhibition by the Mostyn Gallery, Llandudno, the images were taken in 1979 over two trips, six months apart.
With a working title of "Anatomy of Melancholy'" the original intention was to complete the commission in one winter journey. But by the time the first batch was delivered,  a new gallery director had been appointed, who felt the photographs were too downbeat. Expecting heavy local criticism and subsequent funding problems,  the director asked Michael to return later the same year for a more "optimistic" view. The exhibition was poorly received, then forgotten for nearly 40 years.
In 2019, some Pier Closing Time pictures (below) were selected for a major exhibition at The Turner Contemporary Museum, Margate: "Seaside Photographed". Curated by Val Williams and Karen Shepherdson, it was the museum's first-ever photography show, and is now on a UK tour. 
Following renewed interest, in late 2020 the project was published in a book for the first time. Many images had never been seen before. The first signed limited edition quickly sold out. A second signed edition was published in early 2021.
See the BBC feature.
Pier Closing Time is on show at Oriel Colwyn to 24 September 2021 (Colwyn Bay, North Wales, LL29 7RU), featuring a number of images never before shown or published.

Pier Closing Time, Llandudno (Turner Contemporary Museum)

Rhyl (Turner Contemporary Museum)

Llandudno (Turner Contemporary Museum)

Rhyl (Turner Contemporary Museum)

Towyn (Turner Contemporary Museum)

Conway (Turner Contemporary Museum)

Kinmel Bay (Turner Contemporary Museum)

Colwyn Bay (Turner Contemporary Museum)

Towyn (Turner Contemporary Museum)

Kinmel Bay (Victoria & Albert Museum)


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