It is worth looking up in cities. I have long been intrigued by these sculptures on the top of Africa House in High Holborn, London showing British Imperialism at its most confident. I took these snaps from the top of a bus. Britannia rules over a continent portrayed as a picturesque shooting and fishing estate. An African staggers under the weight of ivory tusks and a white man in a pith helmet has shot an elephant. With binoculars one can spot a fishing rod in the ensemble. The lion looks pretty alive but then he features in the British coat of arms. Beautifully carved.
Thursday, 25 February 2010
Wednesday, 17 February 2010
I have always been fascinated by accidental simulacra in nature, the chance likeness of trees, clouds, plants etc to other things. This is the head of some strange creature swimming in the River Wylye in Wiltshire, actually a protruding stump of a tree fallen in the river and stuck by the bank. There are a lot of deliberate simulacra lurking in paintings of all epochs, often apparently unnoticed even by art critics who spend their lives poring over them - for example rocks shaped like God the Father behind a Madonna and Child in a very famous painting in London's National Gallery.
Tuesday, 9 February 2010
The London Community Resource Network asked to use the upper image for the home page of their website and I naturally agreed. Frederick was my first frog, standing about a metre high, which I made in a frantic two weeks for London Zoo in December 2007 to publicise the forthcoming Year of the Frog, a campaign to save the world's amphibians. The lower image shows it half made. (The mouth was a television dish flipped over in half.) The LCRN campaigns with great panache for a more sustainable capital city.