Ice Cream Empire is an artbook that I’m art directing & writing – part documentary, part art collection – that explores & celebrates the uniquely British ice cream industry
A photojournalistic journey from past to present, interwoven with personal stories of vendors, the iconic vans they drive, those who build them, & the ice cream makers themselves.
I believe food is intrinsically linked to the culture it is born in, & through this project I explore the modern British identity via its sweet tooth. I uncover authentic stories from locals & immigrants united in trading frozen treats, the spirit of entrepreneurship & the will to create; the shift in politics & its effects on the industry over the last half century; & the eccentric morsels in-between, such as Margaret Thatcher herself being in the team that invented the soft serve ice cream.
Based on an idea I had a decade ago, when a local ice cream man would pull up outside my flat with an unusual chime, I have long harboured the idea to map the chimes & ice cream vans in the UK, as sadly ice cream vans are becoming a rarer sight. Through my interactions with ice cream vendors to realise this, I found their life experiences a much more richer story, & sought to document the British ice cream industry.
Throughout 2016, I have been travelling the UK gathering materials, taking photos, meeting & interviewing people who work in the industry; selected images taken to date are show here.
If you are interested in participating, or have an ice cream story to tell, feel free to get in touch.
Many thanks to the photographers and the Ice Cream Alliance who have been supporting me:
Ice Cream Alliance: Archive images