Friday, 21 June 2013

Love in London Town

Love Padlocks – Charlotte & Ralf © Graham Dew, 2013
Love Padlocks – Charlotte & Ralf 

There are times when I feel so provincial that it’s easy to forget that I grew up in greater London and the big city is only an hour away by train.

Love Padlocks – If Music Be… © Graham Dew, 2013
Love Padlocks – If Music Be… 

On Sunday we travelled up to the open afternoon at the Arena exhibition in the Menier Gallery. The exhibition looked splendid BTW, with most of the members putting out the best of their recent work, and it all looked beautifully curated and hung by Kirsten Cooke. After the show, our family went for lunch at the nearby Borough Market and then on for stroll along the South Bank as a slow way of getting back to Waterloo. There was a nice relaxed vibe as everyone was enjoying the first of summer sunshine and warmth. We go the Tate modern and my son suggested that it might be nice to wander across the Millennium Bridge to look at the city and catch the breeze. It was here that we came across these ‘love padlocks’ that had been shackled to the thin steel hawsers that make up the fence and handrails for the bridge.

Love Padlocks – Voor & Emelina © Graham Dew, 2013
Love Padlocks – Voor & Emelina 

Although there were many people out with cameras I was the only one who was photographing these love padlocks. I guess I must have appeared like a country bumpkin complete with pitchfork and, smock and straw hat expressing wonder in the completely obvious and banal aspects of city life. I showed these pictures to my daughter a couple of days later, who told me the padlocks on the Millennium Bridge are nothing compared to those on the Pont des Arts in Paris. Yes indeed, search on Google you will see that that bridge is completely encrusted with the things, and in many ways has lost the poetry of the few that are in London. Wikipedia has a page that describes the phenomenon and underscores the fact that I don’t get out and about enough.

Love Padlocks – Stephane Mille + Mary © Graham Dew, 2013
Love Padlocks – Stephane Mille + Mary 
The padlocks still seem cute to me however, and a more gentle way of lovers leaving their mark on a city without vandalising the place by carving names on wood or spraying graffiti on walls.

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