Thursday, 3 February 2011

Battersea Power Station

Let's start with some fun facts... Did you know that Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, the architect behind Battersea Power Station also designed the famous red telephone box and Bankside Power Station (aka Tate Modern)? And that his grandfather is responsible of St Giles Church in Camberwell? Yes, that church that sells booze in its crypt. Little it matters when one looks at the neglected ruin that is Battersea Station today... How could that happen to one of London's architecture myths?

This triptych is meant to satirize the decline of Battersea from a top-notch power station to a derelict site in its 53 years at London's service supplying electricity. Its demise was probably due to facilities becoming outdated and the overtaking of more efficient fuels (like nuclear power) rather than coal fire. However to me it looks like an early example of resources exhaustion due to let's call it progress. Will happen quite often in the future.

The set was produced for the solo exhibition I had last June at the Stables Gallery and makes the first original artwork in the architecture themed works. Continuing with the spirit of the Market Estate murals, I wanted to work on construction materials, in this case plywood sheets and experiment with textures. I'm really happy with the combination of wood streaks and acrylic paint so plan to take it further with more works.

Battersea Power Station Triptych
1955 - Acrylic and indian ink over waxed wood / 60.7 x 122 cm
1965 - Acrylic and indian ink over waxed wood / 60.7 x 122 cm
1985 - Acrylic and indian ink over waxed wood / 60.7 x 122 cm

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