Saturday, 15 June 2013

Right under my feet.

Living in London, I loved roaming around, discovering the weird and wonderful; the entrances to ghost tube stations, pieces of street art, hidden gardens...
But no matter how much you look, there are always going to be things that escaped your attention, right under your nose, right under your feet. 

In the early part of 2012 I stumbled upon information regarding an art exhibition I wanted to see at the Guildhall Art Gallery. It featured paintings that even then were strangely recognisable though I had no idea as to why I knew them; paintings of misty country lanes and the sweeping curve of London's Victoria Embankment. As I discovered, these ones were typical of  John Atkinson Grimshaw's a self-taught artist who favoured capturing the light of the full moon playing down a country lane, or the soft light of dawn through a country manor's garden, and the urban industrial landscapes silhouetted against the winter sun or full moon.

Reflections on the Thames, Westminster, 1880
So engrossed with the contents of the exhibition, and my inspired attempts at photography, I failed to notice the circle of paving stones marked out in the courtyard of the Guildhall. 

It was only watching a Time Team special 18 months later that I realised what I'd missed so completely. The Guildhall Courtyard was on the site of London's Roman Amphitheatre and the paving stones in the surface had marked out the circumference of the remains right under my feet. Inside Guildhall, the remains were accessible by the public while neon lights marked out the lower stalls around the edge of the arena.

 I just wish I'd appreciated it properly whilst I'd been there.

Next time...

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