The NAVIGATORS,London Bridge
High, but not dry,
in the Pool of London,
The IRON FISH dreams of voyages past,
steaming through typhoons & pack ice.
Time & tides ebb & flow past its dock at HAYS GALLERIA,
a reconstructed Thameside wharf once Known as the
“Larder of London”
I built the NAVIGATORS way back in the Yuppy Daze of 1986.
I was commissioned by LONDON BRIDGE CITY
,& I invented the beast in collaboration with the Galleria architect,
BOB CLEMENTS, who designed the pool to reflect theVictorian buildings
& their Thames-side location.
The NAVIGATORS was inspired by the historic wharf, stories of maritime commerce,
& Victorian adventures & sea-voyages.
I combined Gothic fantasy,sea monsters, man & machine in this Kinetic Sculpture,,
before “Steam punk” had found its name?
1985 pre-installation, artists impression of colour scheme
some early drawings of the sea creature/iron ship
A lot of water has flowed under the bridge in the 27 years since I installed the sculpture.
management & maintenance personel have changed, & I have lost contact with the project.
Things change, & although the NAVIGATORS has been regularly serviced,& retains many of its myriad of fountains & kinetic features, there have been a few recent modifications that have critically changed the ambiance of my original designs & intentions?
In a recent re-fit the bronze has been cleaned & polished, removing the salt-encrusted patinations from the sea-creatures fishy scales.
The most dramatic change has been the pool, which has been re-painted a bright blue!
This seems to have lost any dark, mysterious ambiance, & connections with the deep brooding waters of the passing Thames?
Instead, the Iron Fish basks in a brightly lit turquose swimming pool
,a sea-monster on its Hols.
Perhaps “fish-face” should now be wearing sun glasses?
All the photos in this Blog are of the original installation, in 1987.
The NAVIGATORS can be found at HAYS GALLERIA, which is on the South Bank of the riverTHAMES, abeam of H.M.S. BELFAST, & half-way betweenLONDON BRIDGE & TOWER BRIDGE.
There are many images of its current incarnation,on GOOGLE,
look under The NAVIGATORS, HAYS GALLERIA