London’s Central Mosque overlooks Regent’s Park in the heart of the city. It has a copper dome – now a little tarnished – and a concrete minaret. The building is modern and functional, but its principal prayer room dazzles with riches.
I visited just in time for Friday lunchtime prayers, one of the most important gatherings of the week. The faithful were thronging to the mosque. I held back and just watched.
The ceremonials are fairly brief, followed by congregating and socialising in the large courtyard. I went in, removed my shoes and marvelled at the opulent gold chandelier beneath a dome decorated with inscriptions and intricate patterns.
Many men remained there, some quietly chatting, others in their own acts of worship. One studied the Qur’an on his iPad. I seemed at ease to quietly take photographs of this place – perhaps my own religion. The faithful were not photographed, that felt like an invasion of their space.
Any unease I felt about being here then melted away. A man approached me, offered me his tray of dates and said: “Welcome to mosque.”
What a touching gesture to cap a memorable visit.
Click first image for full gallery experience
This is the story of a long walk along London’s Chelsea Embankment by the River Thames.
It’s a winter’s evening and dusk begins to fall early, while the weather is comfortably mild. Perfect conditions to watch darkness rapidly fall and see three bridges take on their night-time guise.Click to enlarge the images
Further along the embankment, and the dark has taken hold. This is when Albert Bridge shines majestically, truly showing off against the sky. In the background, the full might of Battersea Power Station can be seen.
And to Battersea Bridge, which is barely illuminated. A long exposure is needed to tease out the gold of its graceful arches. The pagoda-like tower of exclusive Chelsea Harbour looks like it sits on the third bridge.
It could be the United Arab Emirates, Egypt or Morocco. More on the story of the dome in days to come…
My first forays into creating new works from existing photographs were energetically colourful and often unrecognisable from the original shots.
For this collection I’ve gone in the opposite direction with an exploration of monochrome. The shots I chose to work with emphasise texture, structure and movement which I’ve tried to tease out with careful use of digital tools.
I went back to the original shots and cut them again. Some of them were never used and have been given life and exposure with this process.
Any thoughts and comments from photographers and artists alike would be really appreciated.Click first image to launch the gallery
But the Albert Bridge on London’s Chelsea Embankment glitters like this all the year round, outshining its nearest neighbours. It’s hard not to be drawn to this structure like a moth to a beautiful flame.
You could argue that this delicate piece of engineering is even better than iconic Tower Bridge. Or is it nothing more than a gaudy, camp sweet wrapper?…