‘The Gherkin’

© Robert Graves and Didier Madoc-Jones

Continuing the theme of Living in London, Graves and Madoc-Jones accumulated images of life in the high-rise tenement blocks of Hong Kong and Sao Paulo. Of these, most striking were the distinctive structures of framed windows, behind which were the signs and minutiae of life that individualized the otherwise uniform setting – clothes hung up to dry and curtains billowing in the breeze. The Gherkin presents an unusual perspective on 30 St Mary Axe in the City of London, the building designed by Foster and Partners on the site of the old Baltic Exchange. Resisting the urge to photograph its iconic bullet form, the artists focused on the textural surface and patina of its façade that they altered in colour. Honing in on the faceted surface and grid pattern of the façade reveals an absorbing layer of depth that reflects glimpses of surrounding buildings. Like Gulliver peering into the miniature lives of the Lilliputians, we search out the intimate details of human life inside.

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