Ever since watching the campy Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes I have been thinking about mechanical dragons. I have been sitting on a photo of the new mechanized Malificent-as-a-dragon from Disney’s parade for months, so I went out and scoured the interwebs for some more scaly Steampunk friends to join her. I hope you enjoy the gallery!
The Tower Bridge is worth visiting all on its own, but when I spent a day exploring the area I also found some other great things to tickle your Steampunk fancy. I could see on the map that St. Katherine’s Marina was nearby, and on my way I found a hidden treasure tucked away inside a Hay’s Gallery. In it’s heyday in the 19th century, the then-named Hay’s Wharf received 80% of the tea shipments bound for the Pool of London. Today the amazing glass ceiling provides shelter to restaurants, homes and shops in Victorian-era buildings, as well as an amazing sculpture called “The Navigators.”
The combination fountain and sculpture by David Kemp was installed in 1987 and has a decidedly Steampunk feel. The 60-foot homage to the shipping history of the area is made of bronze which has been pleasantly oxidizing. Some parts of the piece have been selectively polished, and the pool has been painted blue which detracts somewhat from the artist’s original intention to combine “Gothic fantasy, sea monsters, man & machine in this Kinetic Sculpture”, but it is still a lovely piece installed in a historic setting that reflects the Steampunk aesthetic from around the time the term was coined. (http://www.davidkemp.uk.com/the-navigatorslondon-bridge/)
November 20, 2014 | Categories: Artwork, History, Steam Tour, The City of London, Travel | Tags: David Kemp, England, kinetic sculpture, London, Navigation, sculpture, Shipping, steam punk, Steampunk | 3 Comments
Metal is one of the most satisfying mediums I have ever worked with and I hope to get a chance to do more in the future. But even if I never do, I will always love metal art. The strength and flexibility of the material means an artist is really only constrained by the bounds of their imaginations (okay, and sometimes their tools). I really enjoyed these metal men and the world I imagine them inhabiting, especially the “search engine” and the “observatory.”
You can find more of Greg Brotherton’s artwork (including many different angles of the pieces I chose for my post), as well as pictures from his studio here.
I always like to hear about people from the Midwest finding success, and it looks like Greg is one of those people. Here’s his bio:
“Born in Ames, Iowa, in 1968, Greg experienced a somewhat nomadic childhood, spending the majority of his youth in Utah and Colorado. His interest in the mechanical surfaced at age five, when he began disassembling anything with screws in it. By the age of twelve he had taught himself to mine his backyard with homemade explosives (no injuries!). Then, after being successfully ejected from a series of public and private learning institutions, Greg, equivalency test in hand, entered the Colorado Academy of Art, beginning his undergraduate studies at sixteen.
In 1987, after receiving a degree in graphic design, Greg set off for California. Over the next two decades, he forged a successful career as an award-winning commercial artist, while honing his skills as a sculptor.
With a consuming drive to build things that often escalate in complexity as they take shape, Greg’s work is compulsive. Working with hammer-formed steel and re-purposed objects, his themes tend to be mythological in nature, revealed through a dystopian view of pop culture.
Greg’s work has received international recognition, has been exhibited throughout the United States and is collected worldwide. In 2007, he was invited to serve as the featured artist at the Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED)Conference in Monterey, California, joining the ranks of some of the most prestigious artists, luminaries, and scientists of our time. He currently resides in Los Angeles, California, where he continues to sculpt and experiment.”