Thursday, June 13, 2024

'Real Time' by Maarten Baas (Man in a Clock)

Real Time by Maarten Baas
The man trapped in a clock, Paddington.

At the corner of Eastbourne Terrace and Craven Road, in Paddington, on the front of the EFL building, you will find a clock.

Now, clocks are everywhere, so why is this one so special? Well, this one has a man trapped inside it.

Yep. As you peer up at this clock, a man appears and cleans the clock face, from inside, rubs out the hands and then repaints them... every minute.

It is part of an art installation entitled 'Real Time', by Dutch artist Maarten Baas.

The first 'Real Time' piece, entitled 'Sweeper's Clock', was produced in April 2009 and consisted of a video of road sweepers moving rubbish around to create analogue clock hands.

Maarten Baas followed this up with a person painting a digital clock from behind a translucent screen and then a man painting analogue hands on a grandfather clock, from behind a screen.

In 2016 Maarten Baas installed the 'Schiphol Clock' at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport. 

Real Time by Maarten Baas
The man has gone to get his paintbrush.

The Paddington clock, installed in 2021, is almost identical to the one at Schiphol airport.

Maarten Baas had to film an actor for 12 straight hours, to create the video. The actor was dressed in a 3-piece suit, from the late nineteenth century, as a kind of homage to Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who was the architect for Paddington Station, on the other side of the street.

It is fun to watch and, because of its height from the ground, doesn't distract any of the passing drivers. The brightness of the clock face changes with the exterior light, ensuring the man is always visible.*

*The lines and coloured waves in the images and videos are not visible when viewed in person, but are a consequence of the screen refresh rate and my camera shutter speed.

Monday, June 10, 2024

Gnome Garden

Gnome Garden
Gnomes relaxing in the afternoon sun.

Just off Kensington High Street, in the Holland Park area, someone has turned there small front garden into a Gnome Garden.

Now, these aren't your usual full-sized Gnomes, that many people have in their own gardens, but miniature Gnomes.

Gnome Garden
Gnomes in their natural habitat.

These Gnomes are all busy doing things like having a BBQ, gardening, having a drink at the bar, sunbathing, fishing, shopping, tending to animals and playing on slides.

There are buildings that the owners have created from wood, that include homes, a bar, shop, farm and much more. These are to scale and the planting of shrubs, trees and flowers appear to be in proportion, too.

Gnome Garden
Some of the Gnomes were still going about their business, when I walked by.

It is a small plot of land, but with the miniature Gnomes it looks a lot larger and reminds me of the film Gnomeo and Juliet.

I don't know when it was created, nor why, but I am glad that is there for everyone to see. I am actually looking forward to taking another trip to see it, next summer, to see if it changes each year, or if it stays the same.

Once I had seen enough I continued on my way gnomeward. 

Saturday, June 08, 2024

'Greyscape' Photo Competition Winner

Bastion House
My entry to the photo competition.

Back in April, 2024, I was informed about a 'Photo competition' that was being run by 'Greyscape', a website that celebrates Brutalist, Modernist and Constructivist architecture.

Their competition was for photographs of Bastion House, near Barbican.

Fortunately, for me, I had visited the area while on one of my walks with Keilyn, and so had a couple of photographs that I could use as my entry.

I wasn't particularly enamoured by either of the two photographs, that I had taken, but chose the one that I thought looked the better of the two.

Bastion House
The photo I rejected entering.

Having sent in my entry I promptly forgot about the competition and carried on with my walks and continued to take photographs.