Czech-born Luskačová has lived in the UK since 1975 and first went to North East England in 1976 when visiting photographer Chris Killip, who at that time lived there. She fell in love with Whitley Bay, and with the people there who, in spite of the harsh weather, enjoyed their time at the seaside. When Amber, a film and photography collective, invited her in 1978 to photograph the North East of England alongside Martine Franck, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Paul Caponigro, she was drawn back to photograph the seaside.
“I was very touched by it all: the families with children, old women in their best hats, elderly couples with grandchildren, teenagers courting shyly or boisterously, the ponies and donkeys walking patiently to and fro on the beach. The dogs and children were everywhere, dogs enjoying themselves as much as the children did. The fairground and the omnipresent tents, fortresses against the wind and rain, the seaside cafes selling sandwiches, apple pies, custard pies, ice creams and teas, of course. But they also sold boiling water to women who brought with them from their homes their teapots and teabags, because to buy tea for the whole family would be too expensive.”
Although well known in photographic circles, Luskačová’s work in recent years has lacked the exposure of some of her contemporaries. This exhibition and new book aim to contribute to a recent resurgence of interest in Luskačová’s work and to introduce it to new audiences.