“Lie Down and Think of England” is a section of Meg Philpots’ publication, “The Queen is Dead”. The publication visually explores British identity and aims to celebrate and question British culture and the contradicting perspectives of patriotism. Philpots explores and reacts to different aspects of British culture, including the Union Jack and St George’s cross flag, football, cafes, and pub culture. It provides a true picture of modern British culture by examining current problems, like class appropriation, racism, the rise of right-wing politics and toxic masculinity. By authentically uplifting the voices of the disillusioned public and holding up a lens to our culture, “The Queen is Dead” asks the question; What does it mean to be British? What is there to be proud of?
In “Lie Down and Think of England”, Philpots examines the toxic masculinity and sexual harassment prevalent in British drinking culture. Female models dressed in football shirts, and brands popular within 80’s casual subculture are mixed with typically feminine details, like skirts and ribbons. The images selected were styled, directed and shot on 35mm film by Philpots.
Within the publication, the styled photography is featured alongside tongue in cheek coasters. They riff off beers that you would typically find in a British boozer. Instead of the branding they display passive aggressive or condescending messages that have been cat called to women by drunk British men. “Lie Down and Think of England” aims to emphasise the darker side of seemingly light-headed British culture.