30 June 2016

FOUND at the Foundling Museum – curated by Cornelia Parker

Here's interesting... in amongst the lovely historical artefacts and artworks at this small but evocative museum there are exhibits by sixty modern artists that respond to the theme of 'FOUND'.
Cornelia Parker (no relation) has brought together an eclectic panel of people who have all come at this idea from different angles. The exhibition runs until 4th September.
The Foundling's website will tell you more, but not too much or else there'd be no surprises.
Seeing Cordelia's image of a piece of an old leather shoe brings to mind a post I wrote two years ago when I FOUND (see what I did there) lots of bits of shoe leather on the foreshore near Blackfriars Bridge south side.
Here's a pile of other stuff I FOUND on the foreshore at Limehouse.

At the Foundling gift shop there is a selection of my jewellery made from clay pipes which perfectly fits in with the FOUND theme.
Some pics of the museum here.

27 June 2016

Halo Tower, Stratford

Wandering along Stratford High Street the other week I stopped to photograph this mosaic depicting a street seller.

A Georgian flower seller
I was then distracted by the tower block looming behind it – Halo Tower at No.50 is 133 metres tall, has 33 floors and is built in the 'iconic' style.

Views to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
But look closer at the outside of the building and see how the panels on this tower, which is less than five years old (completed 2014), are already starting to deteriorate.

The colour on the dark blue paint panels is flaking away
Genesis' blurb for the building reads "With a central 43 floor residential tower rising high above the London skyline, Stratford Halo is a truly landmark development"
Another site tells me "It's modernistic look attracts high profile businessmen and wealthy people such as YouTubers". Oh, right.
If this is the quality of the fabric on the outside of this building what hope is there for the quality of the workmanship on the interior?

Genesis signage on the building itself and Filtons estate agent window
The information on the ground floor of the building highlights the facilities that come with renting an apartment of this kind; concierge services, integrated branded appliances, dedicated onsite property manager (who doesn't appear to be managing the property very well so far), communal sky gardens, and, of course, gym facilities.
Interesting that there only appears to be rental opportunities.
These clip-together buildings concern me.

And another thought about buying new property regarding the terms of freeholds and leaseholds; how does a 125 year lease apply when many similar new builds will more than likely not last more than 20 years? Where is the security? These are obviously intended as transient property purchases, not homes for living the rest of your life in. 
Call me weird, but I'll stick with bricks and mortar.

23 June 2016

Markfield Beam Engine – Steaming into action this weekend

For many years I have been noticing the brown tourist information signs off the Tottenham one way system that point to Markfield Beam Engine, making a mental note to check it out.
Fiinally, last Bank Holiday weekend I did just that – and what a lovely treat cos we timed our visit so that we could see the power of steam.

It's hard to believe that this amazing piece of waste-pumping machinery sat for many decades bricked up and out of action. But now, thanks to the efforts of a group of enthusiasts and volunteers it can be viewed approximately twice a month including 'steam days' when the steam-powered beam engine can be seen in action. See here for more info.
Markfield Park in itself is also worth a visit – be sure check out how original features from the old sewage works have been cleverly revamped and remodelled for modern use to become gardens, a cafe and a skate park.
Easily accessible from Seven Sisters tube, South Tottenham Station or the River Lea towpath.

17 June 2016

The coal hole covers of North Audley Street

I have for many years been photographing coal hole cover plates on London streets and have amassed quite a collection of different designs made by or depicting different companies.
Every now and then some contemporary ones are made to commemorate an area, as in the ones around Brick Lane, or written about in this book.
A similarly interesting set of modern replacements can be found installed in 2013 by Westminster Council along North Audley Street between Lees Place and Oxford Street where fourteen covers depict the different trades that used to be found along this street.
I managed to photograph eleven of them. The other three were being obliterated that day by chairs and people outside pavement cafes.

1) Apothecary, Butcher, Coach builder and Doctor.
2) Dressmaker, Musician, Publican (Vernon's Head) and Publican (Marlborough Head).
3) Saddler, Stationer, Tailor and one of two original A Smellie & Co Ltd, Westminster from the same stretch.
The ones I couldn't get to are Engraver, Watchmaker and Baker

14 June 2016

Winifred Knights at Dulwich Picture Gallery

This lovely exhibition in a lovely location displays of the work of the marvelously talented Winifred Knights; an artist, until, last week I had never known about.
All works by MK except bottom left which is a portrait of her by another artist
Well worth a visit.
More info here.

9 June 2016

Crouch End Festival 2016

It's local festival time.
North London is awash with them lately, in Caledonian Road, Barnsbury, Highgate, Stroud Green and more. (Go Google... I am feeling lazy!)

But, never mind all of them... I will be at the Crouch End Festival, specifically within Hornsey Town Hall on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th where I will have stall selling my cards featuring my photographs of local landmarks and signs (the latest one shown above), plus a selection of my Amelia Parker clay pipe jewellery and cards.
Hope to see you there – please bring some of the sunshine into the hall with you.