Thursday, 25 September 2014

Embankment Walks

Yet another project consisting of a series of sketch/paintings or should I call them scaintings - maybe ? Anyway I plan to produce a number of pieces, in the style of my header, showing my take on the architecture along these embankments from the Houses of Parliament up to Tower Bridge.

This great capital has over many years produced a number of excellent buildings, and it's fair number (in my opinion) of utter crap, be they in a traditional historical style or modern.

I started my day on the South Bank at Vauxhall and walked east, and then back from Tower Bridge to Westminster. I then proceeded up Whitehall to Trafalgar Square turning left into The Mall and on to Buckingham Palace, after which I headed on to Victoria to catch the coach back home to Poole. I think I walked some 12-13 miles, at the end of which I was totally knackered, I can now fully appreciate the endurance of the marathon runner.  

What immediately became 
apparent was the eclectic mix of architectural styles and construction methods adopted through the ages. This lead me to thinking of producing this body of work emphasising the juxtaposition of old and new. To achieve this I intend producing work in my usual style by painting out the appropriate buildings while allowing the sketchy line work of the remaining elements to overlay the loose acrylic washes of the background.

The South Bank

Full of life, action and vibrant, it's use is now to be applauded as a much valued area of public entertainment and amenity, from the cafe's and shops to the joggers and street artists. 

bank obviously lends it's self more readily to leisure pursuits due to the infrastructure of the road system being set far enough away from the bank walls, thus allowing more open spaces particularly at the western end being is dominated by the London Eye and the old County Hall building. 

To the east is Tower Bridge and the Shard development which I find to be rather an enigma, close up it is oppressive and monolithic, yet from a distance it is elegant and light.

The North Bank

The North bank again by the nature of the existing infrastructure and development is in complete contrast to the exciting vibrant atmosphere of the South Bank.  It lacks open spaces with the river side walks being dull and boring and only existing in parts from the Tower to Blackfriars Bridge. the remaining stretch up to Big Ben is roadway and although the distance from curb to bank wall is wide it still lacks the open spaces present on the other side. 

Blackfriars bridge also seems to form a
dividing line of architectural styles, with the established traditional to the West and the more modern of the City to the East

I do feel though that the development along this stretch of the river, has, on both sides somewhat missed the boat (excuse the pun). development has in some cases provided an excellent and interesting juxtaposition, but has also in some cases, and in my opinion failed miserably. 

I feel that this great old river of ours is crying out for an architectural statement maybe in the style of Zaha Hadid that would reflect it's sinuous nature and energy.

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