This is a wonderful visual treat that brilliantly transports the viewer back to simpler times and is a stark reminder of the relentless flow of time. The subtle juxtaposition of the gas light and surveillance camera brilliantly addresses the crassness of modernity and somehow manages to fuse past and present in a quite poetic fashion.
That said, there are mixed emotions with this picture: on the one hand there is the fantastic detail in the image, which is a tribute to the artist’s technical authority; but then there is the sheer emotional turmoil created by the fake remnant of a bygone era. The gaslight is a bold statement by which the photographer presents a riddle: What is it that captures the essence of a simple landscape?
Let me be frank. I could not begin to to answer this perennial question, but I have so enjoyed the deliberation initiated by this delightfully evocative image that I am not in the least bit troubled. As is so typical of the images on this site, you are almost forced to confront your prejudices about the very nature of photography.
My experience-and I’m sure I’m not alone- is that if you allow those walls to come down, you will be left with a hitherto unknown appreciation for the visual form.
Thank you Mr Grimes!
I must thank you for drawing what had heretofore escaped my attention: the gas lamp beautifully juxtaposed with CCTV cameras. I almost feel ashamed to admit that I had completely overlooked this subtle aspect of this fine work of art.
One other subtle detail that I feel you may have overlooked, however, concerns the towpath. I am not sure whether you had noticed, or anyone else for that matter, that the foreground exhibits a depression composed of about seven blocks submerged from the rest of the path’s surface. The suggestion is undeniable: an underlying “depression”. It’s as if the whole vista, endeavouring to communicate a picture of idyllic England, albeit in an industrial aura in a contemporary framework, cannot help but exude an underlying sadness at time’s passing. It is as if the very substance of the block paving is reaching out to us with invisible hands and attempting to touch us.
I feel sure that this was the full intention of the artist. I know that I am one of many who continue to enjoy peering into these sterling works of photographic mastery and mining their riches.
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