Absence of Water by Gigi Cifali

Photos by Luigi Cifali

Forest Hill baths

Luigi Cifali trained as a topographer in Naples, and spent a great time in the countryside looking through twelth-sided viewfinder of theodolite, an instrument used for measuring distances between points.
After Cifali moved to the UK, he took a course in documentary photography at Tower Hamlets College. In 2004, he completed a Masters in Photojournalism at University of Westminster. Since graduating in 2006, he has worked as editorial photographer.

These images are part of a project called “Absence of Water”, which documents derelict lidos and baths in England. The Series is an historical archive and draws attention to the increasing number of public swimming pools that have closed in the last few decades. Deserted of human life these decaying landscapes provoke a profound feeling of human absence and nostalgia for a lost past. Having been built in the late Victorian period, public lidos and baths were at the peak of their popularity in the 1930s. Gradually, living conditions and tastes have changed, resulting in a drop of attendances, leaving the public pools uneconomical to run. Many fell into decay and were demolished. Symbols of civic and architectural pride in Victorian times, today only a handful of them remain as a representation of bygone era.

Hilsea lido

Hornsey baths

10 - Tudor Grange pool

Harpurhey baths

Eltham lido

Uxbridge lido copia

Moseley baths

Soho Marshall pool

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