Love locks. In real life you have to crouch to see this view. The railings of the bridge come to about elbow height, enough to stop anyone inadvertently falling into the canal below. From street level, it’s easy to miss that there’s a bridge. The gap between the tall buildings is relatively slight. It’s not a commanding bridge in any sense of the word. But it is a charming and attractive one.
The locks are the stars in this piece, although bunches of them through the locks of the stars in this piece though. Bunches of them festooned over the beautiful ironwork, details of which are hidden by their bulk. I’m struck by the number and variety. The personal details scratched or painted onto the sides of the locks. Some clear and others worn away by weather and time.
The whole scene is weathered, as so many of the locks, but some are glittering in the youth. Shiny loops of stainless steel clasping into the railing: Some plain and dull, others brilliant yellow and red, or a hint of glory green, or cool blue. Each one tells a story. Maybe you know it? More likely not. Stories of love, stories of loss, perhaps.
I don’t know when lovelock’s became a thing. I remember seeing them on a bridge in Paris, or somewhere in France. I’d never heard of it before. But in the age of global communication, the idea spread and I’ve seen love block bridges in numerous towns and cities since. I’m ambivalent whether it’s a good thing, but love stories keep the world going. And who am I to dis love?
I sometimes look at the painting and see two giant hands filled with locks. Is he offering them to us or keeping them safe? Love locks is a busy painting. I haven’t started to talk about the architecture. A steep architectural cliff overlooks the towpath on the left, a slight drop in height before it towers overhead again, as our eyes are drawn to the vague buildings in the distance. On the right, the sheer face of the buildings fill the view.
Down below the surface is agitated by the breeze reflecting light but not detail. Dark Shadows edging, a thin path of rippling light. Barring our way to the lock bridge and the love locks themselves. Are the keys in the water below are treasured on a chain around the Beloved’s neck? I must find out.
A limited edition A4 Digital print of an original painting by Cathy Read. The print is signed and numbered, with a white mount and include a certificate of authenticity. Edition size 150