Documentary Photographer Alex Butler is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of  this essay.  From the project ‘Candyfloss & Sticks of Rock’.


Everyone it seems has memories concerning Barry Island, that infamous seaside resort in South Wales. Family holidays, day trips to the seaside, or even perhaps from working there back in its heyday.

This project involves memories too, however, memories of a slightly different kind. Recollections, a mix of both the present and of the past, memories from my childhood and new memories that my collaborator, my son Ed, has created while working on this project alongside me.

At the very outset of the project, the idea of ‘treasure hunting’ was discussed, photographs that would maybe document Ed while on his adventures around Barry Island. But the more I dwelled upon the idea of treasure hunting, the more apparent it started to become…

The more I shot, the more I realised that I was shooting my story – my journey. In my heart I’d been shooting it all along, my mind just wouldn’t admit it.

I have, as everyone has, lost ‘treasure’ in my life, but, I have also gained it too. The real treasure though, for me, is kept safe, kept alive, deep inside my memory. It will be there forever and it can be called upon in an instant, whenever I need it.

The most important element of this project is the memories that have been both gained and remembered. And hopefully, Ed will be able to remember them too, forever.

Now if this project can do only one thing, then let it make you remember what your ‘treasure’ is, and help you to find it within you.

Love to you all.

Al & Ed B.



Watch the multimedia project on Vimeo



Candyfloss & Sticks of Rock


Down to Barry Island,

For some lunch and then ice cream.

Or candyfloss and sticks of rock,

While we sit and watch the sea.


Down to Barry Island,

There watched my waking dreams.

Though I’d never been before,

A far-off happier sea.


Down to Barry Island,

Wayward wanders on the sand.

And stood beside the ocean,

Lone, on the edge of land.


Leaving Barry Island,

To Weston on a journey.

Looked back across the water,

To that place I love; It’s uncanny.


Down to Barry Island,

With two glowing blonde young men.

The winds blowing shoreward over the


…and the sound, of a sole silver bell.


All images & text © Alex Butler



See also:

The Barry Island Project

By Alex Butler