Made in Chelsea

 

Halfway down the King’s Road in Chelsea is the Michael Hoppen Gallery at Jubilee Place. A “must visit” here as there is a Jacques-Henri Lartigue exhibition on. JHL (1894–1986) started taking photographs as an eight-year-old. In 2004 the Haywood Gallery in London had a huge Lartigue show that showed both his “albums” and his masterful prints. This photographic journey through his life recorded his transformation from a “snapper” to a fine-art photographer. I’ve been hooked on Lartigue ever since…

A short hop down to the other end of the King’s Road to the TfL arches around Putney Bridge. On the corner of the New King’s Road and Hurlingham Road, the Harrington Porter arch catches my eye. The interior is stylishly designed and sympathetic lighting emphasises their intersecting arches. Marie-Sophie arranges some flowers as I capture the scene using the Nikon FE hand-held. Literally underneath Putney Bridge Station we meet David rubbing down a wooden table outside his Fabweld arch. A complete contrast from my previous shot but the railway arches in Putney are nothing but diverse!

Crossing the Thames on the footbridge we arrive at the King’s Arches near Putney Bridge Road. The arch is full of wood dust but the visually pleasing joinery workshop of Todi and Boys looks good. Csaba is making a bespoke window frame. Next door, a business that my research for this trip had flagged up. Zinc White “frame pictures, prints and objects” and their lovely arch is easily the lightest one that I’ve had the pleasure to shoot in. I can shoot at 1/250th here. Bliss! Natural light abounds with sunshine streaming in both front and back. I had pre-visualised my photograph here… so I asked Ian if he would oblige. They found the largest dark coloured frame in the place and held it aloft, with their heads within the picture frame. The framers framed! Thanks Sofie, Ian and Michael.

The names in the frame... Ian, Sofie and Michael at Zinc White

The names in the frame... Ian, Sofie and Michael at Zinc White

 

You Visualise It. We Can Create It...

 

Probably my last shoot of the year as we head south-east from London Bridge to Deptford – my intention to walk back ‘up’ the line to Bermondsey.

At Resolution Way, next to Deptford Station, another first: this time an Art Suppliers, ArchDeptford. Paul, the owner, is very obliging and chats as I snap away.

Almost next door, a stainless-steel sculptor.  ‘Don’t touch a thing in here,’ Simon tells us quickly. ‘Everything is covered in metal dust!’ His studio is a scattering of both finished and unfinished works interspersed with odd bits of metal off-cuts. Some lovely reflections captured here on the Pentax 67.

Deptford – arch, after arch, after arch...

Deptford – arch, after arch, after arch...

The stretch of railway arches running north-west from Deptford recedes into the distance with the Shard ever-present in the distance. Arch after arch, row after row… After a few hundred yards we come across a life-size model horse propped up against the railings, and some ‘scenery’ dumped outside some arches. Something interesting here?

Horses park free outside Arteffects, Deptford

Horses park free outside Arteffects, Deptford

A revisit to Arteffects will be required, but next door, Michael Whiteley welcomes us into his four arches where he produces stage props for the TV and entertainment industry. ‘You visualise it, we can create it’ his business card states boldly. Perfect! Whilst I shoot away, Michael and his team work furiously on 180 multicoloured polystyrene stage blocks to be delivered to Channel 4 the next day.

Our next find is Pedibus, who make and hire out pedal-powered vehicles for tours around London – eight seaters with twice as many pedals. Amazing!

Lastly, Tom at London Bronze Casting is working outside his arch glueing layer upon layer of latex sheets onto a model face and bust, ultimately to have bronze cast over it.

The light is fading and it is only 3.30pm. Off to the tube, and home…