Portfolio: Dougie Wallace's Stags, Hens & Bunnies: A Blackpool Story


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The Independent Culture

It started with a naked man attached to a lamppost with cling film. On a day out in Blackpool, photographer Dougie Wallace stumbled upon the victim, who had been stitched up on his stag do, so he whipped out his camera.

It was October 2010 and over the following two-and-a-half years, Wallace frequently returned to the seaside town to snap the multitude of stag and hen parties that descended on the home of the Pleasure Beach at weekends.

Though based in east London, Glaswegian Wallace was at the time selling campervans up and down the country. He would pick them up in Durham and travel across the country to Blackpool on his way back to the capital.

The 44-year-old's series documents lads and lasses on their worst behaviour, partying away in a bawdy sea of L-plates, handcuffs, blow-up dolls and uniformed fancy dress. Poundland, he wryly observes, must do some serious business.

"It's about getting blown out of your mind on Jägerbombs and pints, and eating fish and chips to soak up what has gone before and what is yet to come," he says. "The hedonism is magnified by a competitiveness that manifests itself in drinking games, fights, or sex in the toilets.

"I didn't set out to be a Hogarth, depicting modern urban mayhem," he adds, "but in Blackpool, the visual satire staggers up the street to meet you."

'Stags, Hens & Bunnies: A Blackpool Story' is published by Dewi Lewis, priced £28. An accompanying exhibition is at Hoxton Gallery, London E2, from 25 July to 3 August