Thursday, November 18, 2010

London portraits

click photo to enlarge
Eyes on the pavement, rucksack on his back, deep in his own thoughts and oblivious of the faces he is passing, this Londoner is typical of many city dwellers searching for a little solitude as they go about their business among the din and bustle of the capital's streets. And who can blame him: raise your eyes, look about and you can be overwhelmed by visual stimulation. Yet there must be times when, even in a city that changes with  the rapidity of London, the daily grind becomes monotonous, and the same routes, scenes, sounds and events become depressing, or even oppressive. Perhaps countering this is one of the motivations for the street art that various organisations fund.

Today's image shows a hoarding (billboard) with reproductions of individual portrait sketches of real people that was initiated by London Underground. The city's mass-transit system has a long and honourable tradition of giving London good design, art and architecture - from the elegant simplicity of the Tube Map, the iconic company logo and innovative station architecture that arose under Frank Pick's tenure as Managing Director in the pre-WW2 years, to the sponsored art of today, the London Undergound has been a  force for good in the built environment.

The photograph above shows portraits of staff of the organisation drawn by Dryden Goodwin. They are a selection from the sixty that he did as part of the "Linear" project commissioned by Art on the Underground. For more details see here.

photograph and text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 90mm
F No: f6.3
Shutter Speed: 1/400
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation: -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: On