• Olly Pyle

Downstream From Waterloo Bridge

Updated: Jan 22

Last week, we were looking upstream from the other side of Waterloo Bridge towards Westminster. This week - as promised - we have crossed over and are taking in the Easterly view of St Paul's Cathedral and the City of London. It is fair to say that the view has changed significantly in the last few years. It seems to be 'old hat' now to talk about Foster + Partners' audacious structure at 30 St Mary Axe - fondly referred to as the Gherkin - but it has certainly become one of London's most recognisable landmarks. From the bridge it is now somewhat overwhelmed by more recent developments: The Leadenhall Building (the 'Cheesegrater') and 20 Fenchurch Street (the 'Walkie Talkie.') I am undecided if buildings should have nicknames (or insults!) but it is quite evident how these came about, and they are now indelible entries in the skyscraper lexicon.

It seemed to me that it was about time I introduced some typical London haze to my paintings of the city. As the early morning sun tussles unconvincingly with the pollution it creates a rather pleasant aesthetic, allowing these buildings to recede into the distance, almost like cardboard cutouts, rendering them devoid of detail.

I've always loved this view......let's see what it looks like in 10 years time!


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