“I am struck by the emptiness, the exhaustion, the excess of weather and although a small number of people live and work on the Ness, I chose not to notice them. The area feels out of synch, self-contained and beyond conventions, all of which I find surprisingly liberating.” – Robert Walker
The Fifth Continent is Manchester-based photographer Robert Walker’s series of photographs exploring the bizarre landscape of Dungeness, which is located on the coast of Kent, South East England. This desolate 3-mile peninsula of land which stretches out into the English Channel, was classified “Britain’s only desert” by the Met office and is listed as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, home to a unique and heavily concentrated diversity of wildlife. In terms of our conventional images of deserts, Dungeness doesn’t exactly fit, yet a key attraction of the place is the sheer bleakness of its landscape – a vast, echoing flatness on which stands two nuclear power stations, and where the decrepit fishing huts and railway carriages converted into basic dwellings lie scattered across the beach. Every now and then, the air is disturbed by the ghostly whistles of the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway train drifting across the empty expanse.