Meditating on a Fleet Street Painting
What do I notice first?
The Daily Express Building dark and dominant, reflecting colour but from where? You can’t see, only imagine. Little flecks of bright blue contrast with the light absorbing depths of darkness that surrounds them. Ahead of its time, the building still feels contemporary, despite it’s elderly status.
There’s a band of fire across the bottom. The red and gold of the buses queuing on Fleet Street. The gold continues up the building on the right, golden stones stacked upon each other. The lamp on the wall is held aloft by a bracket. Like an Olympic Torch, waiting to fire up when touched by the flame.
There’s a queue of buses. “You wait an hour for a bus than three show up at once” as the saying goes. Delayed by an unseen obstacle, maybe it’s waiting for passengers to alight or disembark? The buses illustrate the scale of the Express building. It towers over the scene, along with the surrounding buildings. There may be people but they are lost from sight in this picture. Wandering around at ground level, people are too tiny to be significant. The human role in creating the buildings is complete, we are left to admire the glittering result.
The former Daily Express Building stands, proud of its heritage. The former powerhouse of a media empire, now relegated to a footnote in history. its function reassigned. Embracing its new life as naturally as as the old. If buildings had feelings would it be celebrating the change or mourning the loss?
Who knows? We can but speculate.
The adjacent buildings are transparent next to the bold Daily Express building. Like the supporting cast to the star of the show, who can’t be ignored. Daring you to look at her. To notice her shapes and style, drawing all eyes to her.