Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday Photo #4: London Gargoyle

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London is full of buildings that were constructed in an age when owners where not just interested in throwing up any old edifice, but wanted buildings that would last. Buildings with character. Buildings with charm and personality. Buildings that appealed with their unique individuality.

Imagine the amount of time, effort and craftsmanship – not to mention, money – that went into creating the hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of gargoyles adorning thousands of buildings across Britain, and indeed the rest of the world. Will we ever see their like again? Which entrepreneur today; which Board of Directors; which construction magnate will direct their architects to design buildings that are not just functional – but aesthetically pleasing, not just to their owners, shareholders and users, but for generations to come?

Whose imagination sparked this cheeky gargoyle? Whose skilled hands wielded the tools and materials to craft this one individual character? This one, out of countless millions?

Did the artisan delight in the shape and form of this creature? Did he find – or hide – some deeper meaning in its pose and expression? Was he offering a not so subtle comment on the wealth and standing of the building’s owner? It’s eventual occupants?

We will never know. We are left forever to wonder and speculate. And finally, to appreciate and enjoy.

Location: Building façade in Carmelite Street, London, EC4

Photographer: Jim Lesses, September 30, 2008

Note: Click on image to view full size.

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