Monday, March 04, 2024

'HMS Alice Liddell' by Shezad Dawood

HMS Alice Liddell
'HMS Alice Liddell' by Shezad Dawood.

I was taken by complete surprise when, walking through St Pancras International railway station, I noticed a giant spaceship hanging from the ceiling, above the eastern entrance on Pancras Road.

St Pancras Wires
The steampunk-gothic spaceship HMS Alice Liddell.

It is very 'steampunk' in its design and, after having a better look, I noticed that it had buildings on it. It also appeared to change colour, depending on the angle it was viewed from and the light hitting it. So, I took the lift to the next floor, to get a better view and understanding of the piece.

HMS Alice Liddell by Shezad Dawood
Depending on the light the spaceship takes on a different colour.

Sure enough the spaceship did have buildings on its top; a scale model of St Pancras International. I realised that this model is a kind of hybrid steampunk-gothic mix and that I was going to have to do some research on this intriguing piece of art.
Brief History

The piece, entitled 'HMS Liddell', was designed by Kings Cross native Shezad Dawood, a multidisciplinary artist, and it was unveiled on September 29, 2022.

His inspiration for the work was William Henry Barlow, who engineered the station and Sir Gilbert Scott, who designed what is now the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel. Alice Liddell was the real-life inspiration behind Lewis Carroll's 'Alice in Wonderland'.

HMS Alice Liddell
A polychromatic spaceship.

Shezad Dawood is quoted as saying about the piece...

"St Pancras is such a nexus and a meeting point for so many communities in London and beyond... I wanted the work to speak to both St Pancras's history and also to its dynamic future. 
It's important to celebrate London’s diversity and big heart, and I hope this project, with its meeting of past and future, allows us all to imagine alternative pathways, and how we might collectively work together to travel in new directions."

The piece has a polychromatic finish, which makes it appear to change colours in the changing light.

HMS Alice Liddell
An intriguing piece of art.

Also, by scanning a QR code on display, you can access an Augmented Reality Filter, which allows you to experience the piece in a different way, much like Alice going on her journeys.

Read more about Shezad Dawood by clicking the link below.

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