Face at the Window

In London, if you step off the main streets into the side streets, I can almost guarantee you will find unexpected images. The same is true, of many cities and towns across the world. The city’s history is there, in areas that regeneration and re-development has yet to reach. You will even find it on the edges of Mayfair. Today’s image is not from there, but from Bloomsbury. I was hunting for some of the Books about Town benches that were a brilliant feature of London during the summer – I must post about them soon.

_DS79656Turning a corner, in the front window of a deserted and partially boarded-up old Pub, I found this face. A face that stared out, empty-eyed, as if the life had gone out of her along with the Pub. I wondered what stories she could have told. What secrets she had been privy to. What history she had lived through and who she had met and loved. What sights, and fights, and happier times she had witnessed over many years. All gone.

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About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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20 Responses to Face at the Window

  1. I often do this too Andy, look at photos of the past and wonder. Nice image.

  2. poppytump says:

    ennui tinged with sadness …
    Much prefer to see something like this Andy rather than posters and graffiti of dubious value .

  3. Lignum Draco says:

    A face full of emotion which does make you wonder. It’s a wonderful display of art.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks for commenting. I think more art is on view than ever before – as shown by the series you have recently been posting. It’s not all highly visible, but when you find it, it’s a wonderful surprise.

  4. oneowner says:

    In addition to the beautiful subject, the lighting on this is excellent, Andy.

  5. shoreacres says:

    I take it this is a photo that’s been made into a poster? Perhaps we have such things in this country, but I don’t remember seeing them. If it’s a newer trend, they may be in cities like LA and New York, but I’ve not been in those places for quite some time.

    I ilke to think of her as an unknown member of the Bloomsbury group. Certainly, her expression mirrors Virginia Woolf’s words: “Nothing thicker than a knife’s blade separates happiness from melancholy.”

    • LensScaper says:

      Thank you Linda. I don’t think it is a photo – I must go back and take another look. My wife wondered, like you, if this was an image of a member of the Bloomsbury Set – that is entirely possible. And thanks for that marvellous quote.

  6. suej says:

    A very powerful, emotive image – great find, Andy

  7. Chillbrook says:

    I love the way images are being used like this now. When I lived in Islington and the whole Kings Cross St Pancras area was being levelled ready for rebuilding, the boarding around the presented wonderful images of the city, fly posters and grafitti artists could not compete. This is a particularly compelling image Andy. I’d certainly be interested in any more details you can find out about it.

    • LensScaper says:

      Last time I was in the Kings Cross area there were still boardings, and they were very imaginatively used – makes such a difference from the old rough chipboard that was a common eyesore. You would be amazed at the changes. It’s time I took some more images in that area. Thanks for your thoughts, Adrian.

  8. She is lovely, even in her sadness.

    The textures under her left eye look almost like tears….

  9. ehpem says:

    When I looked at it I immediately thought male.
    Could it be a painting based on one of George Charles Beresford’s portraits of Thoby Stephen, Virginia Wolf’s brother, who died at 26 after contracting typhoid in Greece? His nickname was the Goth. If you search on his name, you will find a group of four portraits, the lower right one in particular looks like it might be the inspiration.
    Or, is it Virginia Woolf (there is a strong resemblance to Thoby), based on this photo?: http://ideas.gratis/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/54.jpg – perhaps this is a better bet, though the maleness of the mural remains a bit unsettling if it is an interpretation of the photo of Woolf.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks so much for that Ehpem. The image in the link is a remarkable likeness, and would fit very well, as Virginia Woolf was one of the Bloomsbury Set. I had always considered it to be a ‘female’ image. I think that is as much as anything down to the pose – the way the hand frames the face.

      • ehpem says:

        I agree that it is most likely Woolf, not her brother (who was also, if briefly, involved with the Bloomsbury Set). But that nose in the painting is more like his than hers. That is an interesting observation about the femininity of the pose, I had not thought of that though it probably contributed to what for me was a fairly androgynous appearance.

        • LensScaper says:

          I’ve not found any references to this painting on the web yet. But what I want to do is see if I can ‘find’ this pub again and (most importantly) it’s name and see if I can get any further.

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