As you look at the Albert Bridge Painting, it’s like you’re looking at a fairground ride. Bold and brash colours dominate. Although, in reality, they’re more pastel tones. Here they scream at you with a hot pink that’s reminiscent of a maiden’s blushes. Surprising for a major bridge over the Thames.
Albert Bridge is meant to be noticed.
Function and decoration combined to excess. In a way that only the Victorians knew how. Their motto was always, “If we can decorate it, we will.”
Albert Bridge has everything from star shaped end brackets; gold painted vents with star patterned cutouts; rivets or bolts at every joint; decorative iron frills on top of the cross pieces; Little turrets made over the towers, like little band stands.
Each main support is made from groups of rods, painted blue and yellow and joined by white crown like connections. Stacked on each other. Two pairs of supports at each end, with cables held taught by circular bosses, star shaped ironwork bolted to the sides of the bridge. Meccano comes to mind. Each section bolted to its neighbour.
There’s more delicacy with this piece than my usual work.
Once you get past the gaudy colours, that is. The mass of cables and support beams trace faint patterns against the sky. Using Colour sparingly on the cables to capture this delicacy. In order to see the detail, you must get in close. Only then will you spy the fine white lines within the watery blue sky and pick out elaborate details on the tops of the crossbeams. Dark Indigo tendrils emerge from clumps of ink along the wires. They remind me of the bobbles’s on boucle yarn. Although, I Won’t try and knit with this yarn.
Below all that colour and delicacy, flow the dark waters of the Thames. Against the banks opposite, a few moored boats reflect in the deep water, Muddy supports holding the bridge are almost lost in the murky mess. A few white lines mark where they stand, supporting the weight of all the elegance above. Albert Bridge allow London’s traffic to move between North and South banks in style. Whilst the river’s travellers continue on their way. Each oblivious to the existence of the other, except for the occasional passing thought.
The Albert Bridge Painting is part of my London Series.
Curious to see more London Paintings?