Meditations on an iconic London Painting

Big Ben meditations Painting of Houses of Parliament in London with 2 police officers On Duty - ©2019 - Cathy Read -Watercolour and Acrylic - 51cm x 41cm


Meditating on Parliament

If I were to ask you to imagine an iconic London Painting, chances are it would feature Big Ben. The clock tower dominates any painting of the Houses of Parliament and, since it first saw the light of day, has been synonimous with images of London. As I look at this painting, my eyes are first drawn to the sky and the bright blue waves of colour. Like smoky writing in the air. The 2 largest remind me of an infinity sign. In front of it another symbol of time, or rather its passing. Does it suggest the permanence of the political institution or is it a reminder of the transience of time? In the current climate of uncertainty, it could mean either.

Most of the painting is filled by the Houses of Parliament. Details clearly defined by a lattice work of white lines which outline the structure in a colourful array of abstract inks. There’s a colourful array of abstract inks, creating a subtle rainbow in this interpretation, reigned in but still vibrant.

The building settles on a cushion of green, formed by a stripe of trees set behind regimental railings. Between the gates, two policemen stand relaxed but alert to any potential threat. They chat casually, keeping a watchful eye for change, but always ready to talk to visitors and engage the public in whatever way necessary to do their job. Their attire appears informal but they are prepared for any action that may be required.

A single tourist wanders off the scene, sunglasses on ready for sight seeing. She may be leaving alone but inside, was one of thousands who take the daily tour.

It’s an iconic scene, Bobbies on duty outside one of the most iconic of London buildings. Although centuries younger than St Paul’s Cathedral or The Tower, the Houses of Parliament and Elizabeth Tower evoke an image of London known and loved worldwide.

Like a lone guard standing alert, always On Duty.

Painting of Houses of Parliament in London with 2 police officers On Duty - ©2019 - Cathy Read -Watercolour and Acrylic - 51cm x 41cm
On Duty – ©2019 – Cathy Read -Watercolour and Acrylic – 51cm x 41cm

On Duty is part of my London Series, you can see more in my London Portfolio

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