what I'm doing, what I'm seeing, what I'm thinking

09/02/2011

Down by the river

It's always nice to get out of the studio and do a bit of sightseeing so a couple of weeks ago Adelina (my famous intern) and I thought we'd give a few of my sculptures a change of scene and took them down to the Embankment to see how they'd look in the company of some of London's most iconic landmarks.
It was fun playing around with scale and background and in some of the shots they do really look like large-scale public statues - which are of course the major inspiration for these collections.
Most of the shots were taken by Adelina (who's already shown off her styling skills in the post Winter Garden with Sculpture ) so I'll hand the commentary for this shoot over to her:
(and I promise, this is a Photoshop-free-zone!)


We thought about putting Kathy's sculptures in another context after the results we had on the Winter Garden shoot. The busts seemed to blend in perfectly with the outdoor scenery and we thought that the London skyline would be a suitable and beautiful backdrop for the development of our project.


Our first landmark: The London Eye. Ms Shakespeare is very photogenic and her braids make an interesting contrast to the Eye's graphic, radial structure.


'Tassel Man' looks larger-than-life size in this shot - which is one of our favourites. His imposing posture makes him look like a Victorian sentinel on duty, guarding Westminster Palace's famous tower clock, Big Ben.






As soon as I saw this shot on film I knew it reminded me of one of the international avant-garde compositions. Going through my photographic memory, I realized it was Van Doesburg's Composition XXV. The vertical black line represents Ms Shakespeare and the horizontal one is the bridge across Thames. The fainter ones mark the modern building in the background and the concrete banister.


This is one of my favourite shots of the Dragoon. He really looks like he belongs here - maybe to do with the fact that he has Tower Bridge - one of London's most famous Thames crossings - on his helmet!





I spotted this modern fountain across the bridge. We've never been here before, so we thought we should inspect the new territory. Apparently, it belongs to the interior garden of a hospital and it was closed to public access. I wanted to shoot the Aviatrix bust in front of it because the fountain seemed to mimic the shape of her headdress.






The Dragoon is another bust that photographs well from every angle. This shot gives a more solemn atmosphere as both he and the large-scale statue are facing the sunset, frozen in a moment of silence.






Another shot where the statue looks like it came to life for a split second: here, Ms Shakespeare is walking away from something- or someone?






















This shot looks like one of the vintage War Posters which are so popular now. All that's missing is an empowering slogan.














Aviatrix looking contemplatively at the Houses of Parliament...



















I think these three make a good photographic trio. Looks familiar?
If you have that odd feeling that you've seen something like this before, the answer (almost) always is in a detail of Hieronymus Bosch's 'Garden of Earthy Delights'.
It kind of makes Dali's paintings look like flash-backs, doesn't it?

Adelina took some really interesting and atmospheric shots - she experimented with various filters and camera settings and made some brilliant juxtapositions. It was a grey day but that helped create a special mood with almost monochrome backgrounds and only the most muted colour.
We have plans for a another shoot further down the river so watch this space.

See the complete collections on the website:
Concrete Figurines
Plaster Busts

And see Adelina's post
Winter Garden with Sculpture

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