The back of Frobisher Crescent from the 8th floor affords spectacular views down onto the podium towards Ben Jonson. The giant concrete crater-like roof vents cast long shadows on hot days which contribute to the sculptural beauty of the landscape. This area has huge historical resonance having been heavily bombed during the war (hence the architectural rebuilding that became the Barbican Estate). These concrete air vents draw attention in my mind to the chasm that was left after the bombing and seem to evoke the devastated landscape in post-war photographs of the area.
I have drawn on this area in both paintings and etchings often including lone figures. Sometimes two figures are seen embracing at the tip of the shadow: I deliberately leave one figure blank so as to reflect lives lost during the war whose ghostly presence emerges on this desolate landscape.
Other works on the subject draw attention to the sympathetic reconstruction of the Estate and the way in which it now enhances the lives of the inhabitants. “Scooter on the Podium” reflects this recreational and fun side of the podium – a public space now enjoyed by all. This remains one of my favourite views for exploring what I refer to as “the colour of concrete” as well as the sculptural forms, textures and nuances of Brutalist architecture.