Corporation Street Bridge – Original Painting
About the Image
Corporation Street is another painting with an ethereal feel. The bridge and buildings, either side are solid enough, but a feeling of transience pervades the scene. People, only slightly outlined, walk the streets as mere dark colour blocks. Present in spirit, but ill-defined. Those across the road are even less defined.
Corporation Street Bridge Bombing
The street is a fascinating area to me. Possibly because one of the most devastating events in Manchester’s turbulent history happened right here in 1996. The IRA detonated a 1,500-kilogram lorry bomb. It was the biggest bomb detonated in Great Britain since the Second World War. Miraculously, no lives were lost in the Corporation Street bombing. The sole witness and survivor – the small red postbox. This hopeful postbox appears in many photos of that catastrophic event.
Almost continuously, the news and papers broadcast destruction and disaster. How often do they show regrowth and rebirth? Not nearly enough in my opinion. We are sometimes cowed by awful events. We fail to take heart in the good done by those coping in the disaster’s aftermath.
Yes, awful things happen. People must grieve. But thankfully, life goes on.
Corporation Street Bridge is a scene of restoration. A city recovering from tragedy, building something new and better, so that life goes on. Even the new bridge is a vast improvement from its predecessor. It is a fascinating and amazing construction.
Sometimes a painting develops its own character – whether consciously or not. The place’s backstory surreptitiously creeps in. One is reminded subconsciously of its history and it influences decisions in the painting process.
Tell Me Why?
Why did I paint the ethereal figures? I cannot say. Why pick the photo with a phone box? Only as I look at it now do I make that connection and I do not know why I included it. I thought the tree trunk would have obscured it.
But I love this little red symbol of hope! It symbolises communication, everyday life, shared experiences, and seems to shout, “I’m a survivor!”
I do not remember ever including a postbox in my paintings before – but I’m glad if this is the first one that I have.