Manchester Central painting shows a major railway station in the heart of the city. Closed during the Beeching reforms and left derelict for years. It was used as a car park and little else. Transformed in the 80’s and 90’s to its current glorious state.
The first thing I notice is the clock. (I’ve a fascination with clocks.) The time is just before 4 in the afternoon. I imagine someone waiting under the clock to meet a loved one who’s just arrived on a train, or maybe it’s a farewell? Of course, the trains are all gone, so perhaps old friends are meeting for coffee? A couple meeting on a first date or something else. That’s the beauty of speculation, there’s always more you can imagine.
The building is imposing. Layered geometric forms indicate depth but stop at a tantalising level. We know there’s more that our eyes can’t decipher it in the gloom. Cold colours, blues and greys, prevail but bursts of purple and dark red add warmth to balance the overall effect. Waves of colour indicate a dusk sky, colours bleeding from the clouds.
The station clock dominates this Manchester Central painting. Marking time during the building’s long history. The clock has been here for over 100 years. It still works, hands slowly spinning as time relentlessly progresses.
It’s funny how we like to measure time when, in reality, we have absolutely no control over it. We spend it, save it, endure it, or it flies by. Always constant yet our perception of it changes with our moods. Time becomes an elusive element, slipping past unnoticed in periods of joy or carving an indelible impression on our souls during moments of heartache.
I think that’s why I love clocks so much, the illusion that we manage time when we have no power to alter it. We just have to go with the flow and spend our time wisely.
Manchester Central is one of the Manchester abstracts, you can see more on the Manchester portfolio.