No, they didn’t miss Heathrow. These are London plane trees at the Victoria Embankment Gardens in London, where I recently took shelter from a thunderstorm. Instead I got rained on from on high by ready-made sculpture; manna from heaven.
It was an eerie light because of the storm. The grass under the trees looked nearly white, both with the storm, and through being parched dry from lack of rain.
The trees were shedding their bark profusely, something they do naturally apparently, not down to the dry weather as I first thought. I nearly got hit on the head at one point!
The resulting debris on the ground took on sculptural qualities reminiscent of body parts; here a back-bone, there an arm, is that an elephant trunk?
Jumping out at Russell Square tube station, I noticed these doors at the end of the platform and was immediately drawn in by the arrangement of the security seal tape, and it’s constant removal and replacement along the vertical openings of the doors.
There is something paradoxical that the seals have been put in place and removed so many times. The cabinets being broken into, and then taped over again and again, as if some drama, a crime thriller is taking place with the repeat button firmly pushed down.
The vertical arrangement also reminds me strongly of the “Hanging Soap Women, 2000” sculpture by the Polish artist Miroslav Balka, of which, I believe, half of it is in the Tate Modern collection, and half of it is at the White Cube Gallery, after the original length was cut in two. This beautiful sculpture made of a large quantity of used bars of soap in lots of different colours and strung up along a metal cable is well worth hunting down to have a look at. It does have an underlying message as well, which has got absolutely nothing to do with what is going on in Russell Square, but perhaps you can see the connection.
Back to the mystery of what is going on behind these doors!
What makes it so worthwhile for somebody to break in so many times, risking capture, torture, possibly even death, and yet still persist?
As the title suggests, I took this photograph in Berkeley Square, London. The “FRAGILE” tape was around a metal grille, attached to a metal door of a very strong looking metal cabinet.
But it is fragile.
Handle with care!