Todays word for the Art Group is Skyscraper. I’m going to be perverse today and talk about the absence of Skyscrapers.
I was 17 when I first became intimately acquainted with St Pauls Cathedral. I calmed my nerves before a career interview at St Bartholomew’s Hospital by wandering the Crypt and Whispering in the eponymous Gallery.
Training in the City with its associated highs and lows gave me ample chance to explore the nooks and crannies of this amazing Cathedral and to develop a humanistic love of the Evensong Service. There is something lovely about doing something that humans have been doing in the same location since 604. Not all history in this area bears repetitions quite so comfortably.
The lack of Skyscrapers around St Pauls is no accident. This is the view from Nunhead Cemetery in South London.
It has a protected view.
You can read more about protected views in this link. https://www.citymetric.com/fabric/protecting-view-how-st-pauls-cathedral-has-been-shaping-rest-london-centuries-2577
This is a painting a little way from St Bartholomew’s Hospital , showing the scale of permitted development closely around St Paul’s. The picture below shows a more distant view from Tate Modern.
Skyscrapers define modern cities but the absence of them near St Paul’s opens up the sky and gives the City a different visual experience.