You’ll find PARADISE just North of Junction 20 on the M25. It was easier to find that I imagined. It gave itself away with a simple search in google maps.
I’ve been making trips, you could call it a pilgrimage, to all the places that are officially called Paradise… and I’ve got some bad news… Paradise isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Four years ago this project started out in a pub, chatting to my friend Martin McAllister about places which sound amazing but in reality they are pretty depressing places. We decided to turn it into a project.
Where I grew up in the midlands there was a rough council estate in a place called Corby, famous for having the highest rate of teen pregnancy in the Europe at one point.
It was called…Balmoral.
But within the same estate in Corby there is also, Bleinheim walk, in homage to Blenheim palace and and Gylndbourne Gardens, named after the stately home.
Also, in Rayleigh, Essex, there is a very suburban street called Everest. Not Everest Road or Everest street. Simply Everest.
But Paradise stuck with me most. I think it’s because we all have a mental image of paradise looks in our heads formed over centuries thanks to art, religion and music. I loved that juxtaposition of our perception of paradise and the reality of it.
So, after a few thousand miles travelled the project is now complete.
All the images can be found on the amazing microsite built by Martin, which shows where all the Paradise locations are with an interactive google map: welcometoparadi.se and a selection can be found on my site.
Here are a few of my favourite PARADISE images: