Painting of One Poultry in London

One Poultry Painting Meditating on the Absurd.

The One Poultry painting depicts a curious London landmark that reminds me of Western trains and Lego bricks, let me explain…

The name itself feels wrong, but that is the address, a strange reference to the farmyard in the heart of the business centre of London. No doubt a reference to trade or a market, dedicated to the sale of poultry. London has numerous ancient specialised markets, but I’ll have to do my research first.

One of the last creations of the Postmodernist Style

The distinctive building was designed by James Stirling. The design was refined over three decades and finished in 1997, five years after his death. A controversial building with mixed reviews, it became a listed building in 2016. 

The building at One Poultry gives a curious impression of being simultateously carefully designed, and yet slapped together haphazardly. The colours and pattern suggests the former, the odd mix of shapes and curiosity, err towards the latter. It must have been designed, since it’s impossible to build something in the area without submitting plans, but what were they thinking? I’ll leave you to place emphasis on those words wherever you choose, and to infer any meaning that you wish. In the meantime. just appreciate the oddity that is shown in this One Poultry painting.

Looking at One Poultry, it’s hard to escape the impression that one is looking at a child’s set of building blocks, a giant sets of Legos or a building inspired by them… or maybe wooden blocks?

Imagine children sitting on the floor and listening to them at play. Easily done as children like to talk about what they’re doing. Thoughts occur at random; 

‘Let’s make a triangle shape so high. Oh, I don’t have enough brown/red or orange bricks, so I’ll make it stripy.’

‘I want a tower or tall chimney!’

‘Let’s make it square? Oh, I’ve run out of bricks. Let’s try round then. Bother I’ve run out of those as well.’

‘Maybe I should put them together? Nope, Still not tall enough.’

‘Put an arch at the bottom then. Perfect!’

‘Still needs to be taller.’

‘I have these other round blocks. And how about two viewing platforms, so all of the people can see around?’

That was always the problem with blocks.

There were never enough of the ones you wanted, so you are forced to be imaginative. It’s a secret that’s familiar to all creatives, give yourself some limitations, and you have to think creatively.

Thats not all that strikes me about this building. I’m a reminded of railway trains, like the old US Western train. It’s something about the tower at the front reminds me of the funnel, and the little shaped platform behind on the little tower looks like the cab roof. My imagination takes massive detours sometimes.

Painting of One Poultry in London

And what did I find in my research?

I quote:

“Poultry takes its name, like other roads nearby such as Milk Street and Bread Street, from the various produce once sold at Cheapside (meaning “market-place” in Old English).”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top