Rebecca Walker creates hand-drawn artworks that are influenced by the styles of 19th Century illustrated newspapers, such as the old London Illustrated News. They are suggestive of older perceptions of time and events in public spaces but transported into the London of today.
“It is not necessary that the imagery I have deployed in the drawings accords with any photographic reality. What I am describing through line and choice of image is my feeling for the magical realism of this timeless, beautiful city. I have envisioned modern London through the eyes of its previous inhabitants, with an aesthetic continuity”.
This piece envisions the south bank of the Thames as a natural ‘Theatre of Dreams’, where the whole of London may become spectators at its own glorious spectacle. Both people and buildings seem to adore each other across the river. Ten years after World War II the modern Southbank became the site of the Festival of Britain, with the legacy building of the Festival Hall dedicated to music and arts.
Every decade since then has seen the addition of significant new temples dedicated to the democracy of art and cultural spectacle, including the British Film Institute, Hayward Gallery, National Theatre, and London Eye. Here, I have gathered many of my favourite architectural icons from across the city into one place, and given the assembled crowds more than a mere celebration. It is the most explosive inner firework bombardment manifested outwardly across the sky, proclaiming the stupendous wonder and thrill of being alive in London.