British Railway Station kiosk reader, is this accurate today?Perhaps not.
Another in my series of black and white drawings about the British and reviewing this today, it seems perhaps that it may be a bit dated. Artists sometimes talk about their work in terms of how they have been inspired by others, and what they were trying to do. Well this is supposed to be about those people who’s job is to sell newspapers and magazines, none of which are normally of great literary merit. I imagined that perhaps there exists somewhere a newspaper seller that spends his or her ‘downtime’ reading the classics whilst surrounded by all the other stuff.
Our man here is reading ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’ a favourite of mine in the literature stakes. It’s interesting to note that Thomas Hardy who wrote this classic, wrote many of his stories in episodic chapters, to go into ‘journals’ that would no doubt have been found at Railway stations a little like this one, for passengers to read on their journey.
This Railway station is an amalgam of places like Paddington and others where large column dominated. The soot from the previous train generations cooked them into areas lit sometimes only by the light of the kiosk. This has changed and a recent visit to Birmingham’s New Street station with it’s acres of carefully designed and beautifully lit concourse gives the lie to this drawing, perhaps. However, there was something quite romantic and mysterious about these old Victorian Sooty monliths.
I’ve always had the feeling that these people who inhabit these little workplaces are never closed and perhaps live in an underground shelter beneath.
This drawing, along with loads more, will be in the Exhibition in August which is from 16th August to the 22nd at the Gardens Gallery, Montpellier, Cheltenham. Come along and say hello, I’ll be there every day.
More about the theme of the show can be found right here: Pont: Graham Laidler, and the British Character
My drawing was probably inspired by this sort of thing seen in the Guardian, except in my musings I expected the bloke behind the counter to be something a little more intelligent than smoking, false hope perhaps.