Sunday Stroll

I had lots of work to do today, by I had a Mole moment, said ‘hang’ to it and set off with my camera. It was just too nice a day to spend hunched over a keyboard checking facts. I was doubtful at first, because there was a nip in the air when I let MasterB outside to perform his ablutions. But mid-morning I went for a teeny bike ride, part of my ongoing programme to get my confidence back, and it was gorgeous; one of those days when the light seems to expand, when neighbours stop and chat in sunshine, when it feels good to be alive.

My ‘phone had bizarrely moved me into a different time zone, and I was startled to find the day so apparently advanced when I had thought I was having an early lunch. It probably helped to push me out of the door the more quickly, I just completed a few quick chores, then got organised.

It seems an age since I strolled with my camera in the streets near my home. This squirrel was making a real racket. Several people stopped to stare at her. I am guessing she was calling her babies, and when they didn’t show, was getting more distressed.

Noisy Squirrel

Noisy Squirrel

To be honest, I didn’t take a huge number of pictures along my route, for today I had a goal. I had seen a tweet about some sculptures on the foreshore at Vauxhall and I wanted to see them for myself. I did meet a lovely Jack Russell called Poppy. She was being transported by her elderly owner in a shopping trolley tothe garnd opening of a teashop belonging to the owner’s friend. Don’t worry, Poppy does get walks; her owner pays for dog walkers to take her out for a good run.

Poppy

Poppy

I had thought the sculptures were by St George’s Wharf. They weren’t, but I was reassured that I had read the tide tables correctly and the foreshore was exposed. Vauxhall Bridge glinted decoratively in the sunshine. It is adorned with sculptures by Alfred Drury and Frederick Pomeroy. These are by Drury. He also did the ones of Victoria and Albert outside the V&A.

Vauxhall Bridge

Vauxhall Bridge

Canoeists added a splash of colour to the Thames.

Canoeists

Canoeists

And the foreshore was busier than I have ever seen it at this stretch. Like me, people had come to see the sculptures. They’ll only be in place for a month, during the Totally Thames Festival. I don’t know if they’ll move to another site. You may not be able to see from this photo, but the horses’ heads have been replaced with oil drilling equipment.

Four Horsemen

Four Horsemen

For this is a sculpture about Climate Crisis and our over dependence on fossil fuels. It’s in view of the Palace of Westminster and very close to MI6. That is quite a powerful venue. Outside the Shell byilding which has been the target of a number of protests in the last few days might have been even more powerful. Though one woman I spoke to this afternoon said she didn’t want to think about the message being conveyed, she just wanted to enjoy them. I’d love to hear the artist’s response to that remark.

Blind Horsemen

Blind Horsemen


Actually they aren’t all horsemen; two are, then there is a boy and a girl. Wonderful though they are, I found them disturbing. The figures all have their eyes shut. I presume this is a reference to the way we are walking with determined blindness towards our own destruction.

I did love the details.

Detail: Buttons

Detail: Buttons

Detail: Sandal

Detail: Sandal

Leaving the river I ran into first a neighbour from up the road who was enjoying lunch at one of the Portuguese eateries in which Vauxhall is so abundant, then to some closer neighbours who had been at Battersea Dog Show with their lovely French Bulldog, Lula.

There were more pictures, but I think you’ve probably had enough for one evening, and anyway, I need to get myself organised for work in the morning.

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12 thoughts on “Sunday Stroll

  1. Would that be one of our invasive (to you) squirrels? Around here they are always arguing and on one memorable occasion the fisticuffs lead to one falling out of the tree and flat on the pavement.

    This Thames installation is astounding. First that is shows just how huge the tidal surge is and second that these images arise as the river recedes.

    Interesting that the artist sees the oil/nat gas business as horses. Those pumpers around here were called Grasshoppers. Some times decorated with antennae and eyeballs.

    I hope the message that we are all riding this energy horse with no face – whether child or investor – gets through.

    • Yes, it’s one of ‘yours’. There is no pocket of red squirrels in this patch of London. There was no other squirrel in sight, but she looked like a feeding mother, so that’s why I thought she was yelling for her babies, probably adolescents now, to come home.

      The ref is to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse; somehow the Four Grasshoppermen doesn’t really work. The artist is Jason Decaires Taylor, and I am proud to see that he trained at Camberwell School of Art.

  2. what an enjoyable walk. your weather looks as sunny as ours here, although the warmth of summer has dissipated, and air has just that first bit of an autumn nip. i think yesterday was the last day for me to wear sandals…
     
    what a remarkable display. disturbing indeed – which is probably the artist’s intent, but even so, i can quite understand the woman’s sentiment who didn’t want to think about the message being conveyed. and i agree with you – there is a real beauty in those details. thanks for sharing

    • I am perplexed by your comment. Do you mean you just don’t want to think about the effect of us using fossil fuels, or are you just full of admiration for the strength of the piece? I find the way the horses no longer have heads, but are machines for drilling oil quite chilling, but I do find the piece beautiful.

  3. How nice! I feel like I got out and strolled with you. Our weather has been so hot and humid it has been tough to enjoy these first few days of September. Finally had a cold front move through last night and I am hoping for a pretty day. The horse sculptures got me right awake this morning. I agree that the details are beautiful.

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