Art Deco and Egyptian Splendour- Black and White #31

Susan Sheldon's image of the Shell Building in London England


One of the things that I love about London is the contrast and sometime very successful balance of the old with the very new. Well, age is all relative. The stunning Shell Building was a glory of Art Deco modernity when it was built in1930- 1931. It’s a solid impressive building, and on some days, it can look quite oppressive. One can imagine, spies, stories of espionage all with the dark imagery of Orwellian menace  within its solid walls.  It would be the prefect setting for the home of  Big Brother. The large clock is the largest in London and was once known as Big Benzene.  In front of the massive 84 meter building stands Cleopatra’s Needle, created in the era of Pharaohs and swirling Saharan Dust. It was a gift to the United Kingdom from Sudan Muhammad Ali, the ruler of Egypt, in 1819. Moving it was a massive expense and for once the politicians got it right and did not fund the movement. It remained snuggled in the Egyptian sands until 1877, when it was finally sponsored at the mind boggling cost of 10,000 pounds. A horrific amount of money in those days.  So from out of the sands of the desert,  surviving wars, and nature’s determination to complete the life cycle… dust to dust, the needle defies time and stands on the side of the River Thames in perfect compliment to the daring architecture of Art Deco.

About susan sheldon

I am an explorer. It's taken me awhile to realise this. But I love capturing bits of our wonderful world with my camera, travelling through time and history, always returning to write, or paint what I've discovered. I use my Leica and my iPhone to capture images, and with those images I try to hold on to a feeling, a moment in our busy lives. Sometimes those moments bring me into the past, others into the studio to paint, or back to the old typewriter to try to use words to capture what the camera has done for me already. One of my goals in my blog is to have a space to take a breath away from our frantic world. I hope you enjoy your time here. It’s such a privilege to have readers.
Gallery | This entry was posted in England, Memories and musings, Tales from the City- London that is... and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Art Deco and Egyptian Splendour- Black and White #31

  1. prior says:

    thanks for the history lesson – and it was cool to first soak up the photo – and then read your tasty words – to then go back and reexamine each detail – pretty cool because I saw things so different – and Cleopatra’s Needle does compliment that art deco building – and I think I saw George Orwell – ha!

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