The Industrial Skeletons of London. Gasholders of Hackney.
On the train while passing over Regent's canal through the gritty back lanes of Hackney, I have always gazed in wonder at these mammoth ghostly gas holders that dominate the skyline looking specially magical at sunset.
As a graphic designer, I knew they would make for a sharp striking visual, and I love how this composition has turned out.
In the 200 years that the UK has been using gas power, the country has got used to the distinctive sight of "gasometers".
These gas holders have stored coal gas (town gas) and later natural gas for the UK's urban areas, but now all but a handful are obsolete. These industrial iconic structures are at a risk of demolition.
Though they are now defunct, it's undeniable that they continue to play a part in British culture. For artists they have a dystopian edge. Making for gritty backdrops in shows like Luther.
As well as the uniqueness of their outline, the gas holders are a testament to Britain's role in creating the Industrial Revolution.
In big gas-hungry cities the holders would go up and down daily. Filled in quiet times during the day, in the evening the levels would sink back down as gas was used to light and heat homes.
Christopher Costelloe, director of the Victorian Society, says it's that evocative movement that people like. "It reflects the beating of a human heart on a city scale, they were a reminder of a city's vitality."
Today we can see a sort of revival, trying to make gasholders hip. There is a 'Gasholder park' at King's Cross. Apartments built within these metal frames are selling at premium and frankly exorbitant prices. But then again, who would not love living within a part of Britain's industrial history ?
Fine art Giclee Prints on Xpression smooth 300gsm thick paper available. (I love this, as the archival inks enhance the colours, on light texture) Reminds me a bit of the texture of concrete. (see last photo for Giclee texture ref)
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