Space age images

This is a set of abstracts that could have been taken on another planet. They’re alien, strange and hard to fathom, filled with cosmic light and unlikely shapes.

Click first image for the full gallery experience

Gallery entranceBut there’s a more earthly explanation for these images. They were taken inside the Roca Gallery in London, an intriguing space age building designed by the architectural practice of Zaha Hadid, the doyenne of graceful, cutting edge design including the fabulous Aquatic Centre at the Olympic Park.

And here’s the irony – it’s actually a glorified bathroom showroom. Well worth a look even if you have no intention of buying some lovely new taps or porcelain bowl.

Between the pillars

Olympia in west London is best known as a vast space for exhibitions and conferences – a space where people come to congregate, browse and buy.

We looked around one corner of the complex on Open House London weekend which would usually go unnoticed. The Pillar Hall is an incredibly ornate room with beautifully plastered walls and ceiling, held aloft by sturdy, magnificent Corinthian columns. Even the signs for the restrooms are elegant.

Click to enlarge

Hall of pillars

Gallery entrance

But my favourite image from this brief visit was supposed to be a candid of Dermot – but I was caught out at the last moment as he glanced up. He is beautifully framed in the light of the window, its long drapes and one of the pillars to the right of the shot. Architecture does not always win the day…

Standing in the window

Filthy nature

I walked out one morning in search of grunge. This quest took me to a stretch of London’s Grand Union Canal which is anything but pretty and quaint.

The stretch between Willesden Junction and Kensal Green in the city’s north-west straddles a major railway confluence. It’s heavily industrialised and nature has almost been squeezed out by the excesses of human activity.

Dilapidated warehouses line the banks, along with spray-painted walls and the occasional mound of rubbish. But the area is full of textures and shapes, oddly alluring to the camera. 

Click first image for the full gallery experience

The Photo Shop

High and mighty

High and mighty

An impressive mountain of glass and steel in the heart of the City of London – a true statement of power and prestige.

This is just one of the many new high-grade skyscrapers that have sprung up in recent years. There are more on the way, which cluster together in the capital’s business district.

Nearby is a less imposing and more elegant curved tower. With your camera you can spend a long time pointing upwards on a trip to the so-called Square Mile.

Click images to enlarge

Upper curves

Gallery entrance

Westminster opulence

Westminster floor

The “mother of parliaments” deserves a resplendent setting – and it certainly has that. The architecture of the Palace of Westminster is soaked in grandeur, and its inner corridors are enriched with the atmosphere of a cathedral.

After waiting in a lengthy queue and undergoing airport-style security screening, St Stephen’s Hall, Westminster Hall and the Central Lobby – the “foyer” for Britain’s political nerve centre – were ours to peruse and photograph.

It’s staggeringly opulent. All I can wonder is if David Cameron, Tony Blair or Margaret Thatcher ever took a moment to absorb its magnificence or craned their neck to admire the Central Lobby’s gilded ceiling.

Click first image to launch the gallery

The Photo Shop

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