17 May 2015

Street corners of note

Here we are in Central London on a fine afternoon, keeping our eyes open.

This corner has some old lettering on the stones of St George's Hanover Square - a church that has a full time professional choir (I didn't know that till this minute!). It was built 1721-5 and the lettering looks almost as old as that.
The obelisks (there's another at the other side of the porch) are 18th century lamp standards

At the corner of Maddox Street and St George's Street, London W1
The old street names show the addition of the postal district, W - a system that was introduced in 1857. Districts were subdivided with numbers (eg, W1) in 1917 as a measure of wartime efficiency.

 A somewhat similar street corner, about 2 minutes' walk away, is occupied by Central Police Station (27 Savile Row; open 24 hours a day). Savile Row was built 1731-5; tailors first arrived in 1803 - which is appropriate as the street was built on land owned by a merchant tailor, William Maddox. The houses, originally only on the east side, were occupied by military officers and their wives, along with politicians - a fashionable address, attracting merchants and makers of luxury goods.

Fast forward to 1939, when the Metropolitan Police Station was built - only to be damaged in 1940 during a bombing raid. Since then it's had double glazing installed - and a raft of security cameras.
At the corner of Savile Row and Boyle St

Security cameras figured in one of the exhibitions we wandered into, in the area; this is a small painting by Henry Hudson, who uses plasticine for his impasto effects, "somewhere between sculpture and painting and etching, even" he said, talking to a group about his contemporary Rake's Progress series ("it took me about five minutes to map out the complete story, and then about 2-1/2 years to make the work"). See a video of how he works here.

1 comment:

Heather James said...

I've just watched Henry Hudson's video and am impressed by the amount of work involved in his art. I'm wondering though how long the plasticine stays on. Does it dry and out and eventually fall off?