So the top four photos on my instagram feed this month are the following: Margaret Thatcher’s grave at the Royal Chelsea Hospital; a Grayson Perry vase in the British Museum; an old road sign in Chelsea; and one of Bletchley Park’s Enigma machines.
I’ve been lax at blog posts this year (there are ones coming on the Tudor Pull, Marlborough St Magistrates Court and Michael Fagan, honest), but as I’m out and about on the Blue Badge Guide stuff I occasionally manage to take some pictures and load them up to instagram.
You can follow what I shoot if you look for ‘donbrowndotlondon’, but here’s a selection of recent images from across the capital.
Step out of the back door of the Blue Fin Building (as I did this morning) and rising up in front of you is the new extension to Tate Modern – 167,699 bricks’ worth (according to their website).
It’s by the firm of Herzog & de Meuron (who did the work transforming Giles Gilbert Scott’s original Bankside Power Station into the Tate Modern back in 2000) and “will present a striking combination of raw industrial spaces and refined 21st century architecture”.
Striking it certainly is, its angular form contrasting starkly with the clean lines of the power station. Its ten storeys tall, and built on the old oil storage tanks (Bankside was oil-fired, unlike Scott’s coal-fired Battersea power station, also currently being transformed). The Tate say that the new development will increase display space by 60%.
I’ve an ambivalent attitude to much contemporary art, finding it engaging on an intellectual rather than an emotional level, and although I love the Turbine Hall space at Tate Modern it’s not a gallery that I find myself drawn to. Let’s see what goes into the new extension when it opens on 17 June.
The new header image you can see above (and to the right, click on it to see the bigger version ) was my Christmas present – it’s a 2 metre-wide print by Neil Williams that was bought from his stall in Northcote Road market.
It’s stitched together from a whole load of individual images – as he says on his Facebook page, “I had to handhold the camera because you’re not allowed to take up a tripod. in the end I merged about 50 images together.”
You can see more of Neil Williams’s London photos on his website.
Bleeding London is an exceptionally ambitious, and potentially quite wonderful, project to capture a picture from every street in London.
It wasn’t something I was aware of until I stumbled across a piece about it on the BBC News site and (I may be wrong) it doesn’t seem to have had a huge amount of other publicity, but it’s the sort of thing that’s worth getting behind, particularly as “Anyone can participate and pictures can be taken on any device. There are no restrictions on subject matter”. I might even dust off the old box brownie, set the fedora at a jaunty angle and hit the streets round SW11.
At the beginning of June I did the Nightrider challenge – 100km cycling around London overnight. It was exhausting, tiring, but great fun (a full description is here).
I didn’t get the chance to take too many pictures (have you tried photography while riding a bicycle in the dark?), but here’s a selection of some as we crossed the river. Continue reading “Early morning London”