Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fear, Rust and Loathing in Lost London...

I am so drawn to the Thames, to the sea, to all things tidal, and yet I have a fear; a phobia connected to it.
One of the comments I had about a painting I'd done of the underneath of a boat, has prompted this post, which isn't really an explanation, but maybe an illustration of why I try and paint what frightens me.
For a start I've found that when I paint something with the fear and strong feelings I have about man-made objects in water, particularly metal things, somehow it seems that I leave some of that emotion lingering, and people appear to appreciate it, even if they don't feel the same...maybe that emotion enables them to be led to visit other deep places ?...who knows...but my phobia fascinates me, and just as I think it's all ok, and I'm fine with rusty boats... I suddenly get the fear.
I took a walk along the Thames yesterday and saw some fantastic and odd things. The Thames is so difinitively London and so not London at the same time.
However, The Thames terrifies me; it's lonely, grey, old, full of rusty working vessels, and it seems to hide so many things under it's deep grey shroud; an historical London which we see broken fragments of on the shoreline, and the fact that it's calmly yet constantly hiding death...or maybe that's just my phobia!
Anyway...the walk started out in a civilised way, and when you work out what this says,'ll laugh I'm sure!

A wonderful piece of Sir Giles Gilbert Scott design: see the telephone kiosk resemblence?

...and there was a pedestrian diversion near Blackfriars, and can you believe NO ONE stopped to look at this apart from me. It is hidden in an awful industrial corner, surrounded by vandalised 'hazardous chemical' warnings...
I think it's utterly amazing and so beautiful
...and this kind of made me think of Elaine
And the rest...well, the rest is just rust and fear...the industrial, lonely, chained, boat persisted in worrying me, but it was the piping further down that was the final straw; I was nearly crying and feeling really rather sick, so I called it a day after that, and made a hasty retreat!


  1. well theres so much there, so first off...why a sign for legible london...was it on a wall or the ground...its all terribly mysterious,
    i'm afraid of the underside of boats because there might be 'creature' lurking ,i'd never thought of the metal up till now ...but as your friend mr. shakespeare said and its very true "nothing is either good or bad but thinking makes it so" . i see a lovely beauty in it....even that pipe looks like a gormless character ,and if it spoke it'd have a yorkshire accent and it;d say..lovely to have you ere luv i get very little visitors down ere and its rite lonely ! ( apologies for my yorkshire accent )
    and what gorgeous shades of greens ,
    and the other photos are great ,especially the one sending the subliminal messages about that fantastic irish mosaic artist !
    and you've got me thinking would you face your fear if your fear was facing your fear?

  2. you're back its great to see you again . ilove this post wow. you know elain and i talk about you all the time its like you're our long lost friend. elaine is jaboopee. i hope life is good for you . you have great eyes.

  3. `hi 5ft. i'm at lucys today not suppose to be but someone was sick so here i am. its arainy miserable day in dublin. so it was lovely to see your comment, say hello to mrs thatcher for me.

  4. Great! This is the kind of thing I see walking around; I always though I was a bit dotty taking photos of rust and moss and marks... there's so much beauty if you open your eyes and look!