Archive for December, 2007

More at ECCO: Claudia Jaguaribe, Raquel Kogan, Ludovic Caréme

Sunday, December 30th, 2007

Cláudia Jaguaribe: ‘Quando eu Vi‘ (When I saw)

Cláudia Jaguaribe was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1955, but she has lived and worked in Sao Paulo as a freelance in advertising, fashion and magazine and newspaper photography since 1989. She studied Art History and Photography in Boston, USA. Her work has included photographic essays on cities (Cidades, (1993) and recently, Rio de Janeiro, text by Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza and photographs by Claudia Jaguaribe, 2006) and Athletes from Brazil” (Sextans, 1995) as well as on airports. She works with video as well as photography.

Her web site is another of those I have problems viewing, even when I follow the extensive instructions on the initial page, using Firefox 2.0. You may have better luck (or lower security settings) than me. Wouldn’t the web be much better if web designers could be persuaded that simple sites are fast and responsive and with CSS can do some pretty clever things too. You can also see some of her commercial work at Samba Photo.

However, unless I missed it, the work on show in the main gallery space of ECCO, ‘When I saw‘ is not on her web site. It seemed very much to relate the the Foto Arte 2007 theme of ‘Nature, the Environment and Sustainability‘ being, I think, all about Nature and the way we see it.

Most of the work was in colour, but the piece I warmed to most was (I think) a diptych of two images in sepia.

(C) Cláudia Jaguaribe

I think this is saying that ‘landscape’ is a human creation that we impose on nature. Well, of course. Ideas are human creations – but so is to a greater or lesser extent the so-called natural environment. I come from a country which has been so intensively altered by human activities – hunting, agriculture, industrialisation, landscape gardening (one of my in-laws ancestors was a landscape gardener of some note) and more, such that little or nothing remains unchanged, in which the idea of a ‘natural’ landscape seems laughable. Even the most remote areas of Brazil will have been altered – if only by the increase over the years in carbon dioxide levels.

But what appealed to me was I think mainly the shapes of the leaves, with which I’ve always had a fascination. As you can see in a number of the pictures I took in Brasilia including this one at the Foto Arte offices.

Brasilia, (C) Peter Marshall, 2007

Raquel Kogan: ‘Bewohner’

The occupants or inhabitants referred to by the German title of Raquel Kogan‘s series of colour pictures, ‘Bewohner’, made in Germany and Austria, of soft toys found in cars. (It was subject matter familiar to me, as one of my colleagues in London, Paul Baldesare, has been making a similar collection of pictures for some years, although his concentrate more on the kitsch aspect, and, as might be expected, the English examples are funnier.)

Kogan’s images show these trapped ‘beings’ in a curiously fragmented space, with the angled glass adding reflections of the surrounding street and city.

Ludovic Caréme: ‘Retratos'(Portraits)

The square format colour portraits by French photographer Ludovic Caréme are impressive, and show him as a very successful magazine photographer. The 40 pictures were from 10 years of his work, which you can also see on his web site. He has lived for some time in Sao Paulo, and there were a number of pictures of Brazilian celebrities, including a portrait of the architect of Brasilia, Oscar Niemeyer, taken this year.

(C) Ludovic Caréme, 2007

In it, Niemeyer’s head dominates the near-symmetrical image, above his white coat and clothing, somehow looking too large for his body, which somehow fails to be at ease for the image. It shows him approaching his hundredth birthday still entirely alert and in command and is a powerful image, but my choice of a portrait of the man would be the very different picture by Luiz Garrido also on show at ECCO.

Heroes: Luiz Garrido

Sunday, December 30th, 2007

Strictly in the interests of research, I spent some minutes this morning on coming out of the shower posing naked, establishing that by crossing my thighs it was indeed possible to tuck my tackle away out of sight, leaving just a triangle of hair visible at the meeting of legs and stomach. Fortunately I was the only photographer present and I certainly wasn’t using a camera.

Brasilia – Congress buildings (C) Peter Marshall, 2007

The show Heróis (Heroes) by Luiz Garrido opened in the Black Hall of the Chamber of Deputies of the Brazilian Government at the centre of Brasilia in November with considerable controversy.

What caused the fuss was an image of the famous Brazilian transsexual actress, Rogéria, in a pose similar to my bathroom experiment (though let’s be clear, I omitted the blonde wig, lipstick, nail varnish, loose shirt, tie, trainers and white socks.)

(C) Luiz Garrido

Apparently this image was not among those that had been shown when the exhibition was arranged, and the director of Public Relations at the parliament building took exception to it, arguing it was not appropriate to be shown in a space visited by so many children. The same argument was also put forward by my very courteous guide on my visit to the chamber when I asked him about it.

Brasilia – The view from the Black Hall of Congress (C) Peter Marshall, 2007

So for the opening night, the image was on show behind a screen, while negotiations went on about how it might be presented, involving the Festival Organiser and photographer and the management of the chamber. A notice that was put up, announcing (in Portuguese) that “By a decision of the Chamber of Deputies, this cubicle contains a photograph of Rogéria whose open exhibition to the public was not permitted” and this apparently so upset the chamber that they took down the whole show overnight without further discussion.

I find it hard to image how anyone could seriously think that this image would in any way offend against the Brazilian law relating to children and adolescents, which apparently protects them from displays that are inhuman, violent, terrifying, vexing or embarrassing. Young children would walk by unconcerned, while it is hard to see it causing more than a shrug with teenagers exposed to everything the Brazilian media deem fit to publish. This was certainly not – as one bloggers suggests – an erotic image.

You can read more details on the story – and the responses to it by various bloggers – on ‘Global Voices‘ which also has more pictures from the show.

Luiz Garrido‘s show was at ECCO when I was in Brasilia, and looking at the whole show as an outsider, this picture actually struck me as the least interesting of his images on display. The kind of image that gets chosen not because of the photograph but simply because of the discordant views about LGBT rights that it embodies. I’m very much against censorship, but would personally as a curator not have chosen to show this picture.

But there is no doubt that Garrido is an interesting portraitist. I visited his show at ECCO after hours, following a very satisfying rump steak at ‘Oliver’, the contemporary restaurant that is a part of the gallery complex, together with my companions for the evening, Robson and Chris, and I think we were all impressed by his portrait of President Lula, swathed in cigar smoke (and more than a hint of the revolutionary Cubans.)

Lula, (C) Luiz Garrido

Next to him was another fine portrait, of Lucio Costa (1902-98), whose master plan created Brasilia, and next to that, the architect who designed its famous buildings,
Oscar Niemeyer, 100 on Dec 15, and still working. Costa, taken in a study after my own heart, the shelves behind him separated by bricks, slumps to one side, one eye bright and alert, the other side of his face resigned, reflective.

Lucio Costa, (C) Luiz Garrido

Oscar Niemeyer, (C) Luiz Garrido

Niemeyer is placed centrally in the frame, but cropped along the line of his upper lip, taken in front of a white board with some lines and writing, dominated by the two words “mundo injusto” (unjust world.) It is a powerful image, and one that concentrates on the eyes and intellect of the sitter, his balding dome against the world, as well as reflecting the architect’s own use of geometry and curved shapes – as for example in the National Museum at Brasilia.

Brasilia – National Musuem, (C) Peter Marshall, 2007

Under the Car

Friday, December 28th, 2007

In my talk in Brasilia I looked at the photography of the urban environment and some of the changing ideas in planning, and how the invention of the car had completely altered our cities. Ideas about Garden Cities at the end of the nineteenth century had been overtaken by urban sprawl.

A12 Eastern Avenue at Gants Hill, London 1995

One of Britain’s greatest writers, J G Ballard and I live on the same ‘terroir‘, the gravel-rich fertile flood plain of south-west Middlesex, now pock-marked by gravel extraction, scarred by acre after acre of water-filled pits. More water towers over us behind the grassy high wall slopes of reservoirs containing west London’s water supply. The sand and gravel has been transformed into roads and houses; the orchard and plots of my grandfather now a housing estate, some of our most fertile land now under the concrete and grass waste of Heathrow.

Round here Mr Cox discovered the sublime king of apples, but crops now are contaminated by unburnt hydrocarbons and heavy metals. Cars and lorries speed along roads grimy with greasy grey dusts, planes thunder low overhead and levels of air pollution go off-scale. Once broad and proud Roman roads long unable to cope, their 1930s arterial replacements fare little better, the ‘Great West Road’ at Brentford now a dark and dimly lit racetrack under an elevated motorway.

Under the Car (C) Peter Marshall

I’m not sure if I saw the TV film starring Ballard in 1970, called ‘Crash!’ or simply read about it. A couple of years later his ideas about the 20th century’s love affair with the car re-appeared, worked into a more dramatic format in his novel ‘Crash’, set in our shared locale (but many years later shifted to Toronto for its remaking as a feature film.)

Under the Car (C) Peter Marshall

My own series on car culture, ‘Under the Car‘, started in the 70s and continued for around ten years, although never finished.

Under the Car (C) Peter Marshall

Under the Car (C) Peter Marshall

Under the Car (C) Peter Marshall

Without Ballard my ‘Under the Car’ essay would have been rather different. His more recent books, particularly Kingdom Come (2006) are a chilling view of an England only too clearly close to the present.

Periphery – Kristopher Stallworth

Friday, December 28th, 2007

Another show in some way about the car, which seems to be my current theme, is ‘Periphery‘, a Photo series by Kristopher Stallworth, which is at ‘Corridor2122’ gallery in Fresno, California from Jan 3 – Jan 27, 2008.

I first saw these precise and carefully made night urban landscapes at ‘Rhubarb-Rhubarb‘ in Birmingham in July, when Kristopher brought them to show me. I was impressed by the work and tried to explain to him what I saw in them, and why I felt some worked better than others. These were images that made me see something in a different and new way, and particularly those that had a certain quality of the unexplained.

As the title suggests, these are views on the outskirts of the urban area, made around Bakersfield, California. These are often neglected areas, sometimes simply agricultural areas awaiting development, some with very much the feeling of edge and wastelands, shadowy areas that he illuminates partially using the headlamps of his car.

Perhaps its a difference between the wide open spaces of California and the dense urban tissue around London. Here I’d expect to see the kind of lonely dead-end places at the ends of roads than run nowhere, where people might drive to in order to dump rubbish or a corpse, commit adultery or stage an illegal fight. But his are generally clean and tidy and very open, often with distant horizons and lights, more a world to be discovered than one to be feared. Or perhaps it is more a difference in our personalities more than in the landscape.

Of course I immediately thought about other fine night images – such as Robert Adams in his ‘Summer Nights‘, (1985) which do include a couple which are illuminated, I think, by the headlights of a car. Stallworth’s work is perhaps even more precise but also more limited in scope, but there are a number of pictures I find extremely interesting. If, like me, you are unlikely to get to Fresno, you can enjoy them on-line on the photographer’s web site, which also has a colour series, ‘Everywhere/Nowhere‘ which explores the generic nature of much modern urban architecture and landscape.

Greek Automobiles – Foto Arte 2007

Friday, December 28th, 2007

United Photojournalists Agency. Automobiles 1944-1964.

Given that I had gone to Brasilia to give a talk that – among other subjects – reflected on the disastrous environmental impact of the car in the twentieth century (and continuing) the show Automobiles at the Gallery Bulcão Athos (part of the National Theatre Claudio Santoro) might not have been the most appropriate for me.

Image from the Foto Arte 2007 web site.

However one of the pictures on-line at the Foto Arte site – and one of the more striking in a show, did show a car “wheels-up”, sitting on its roof like a stranded whale on some beach, with an an out of focus figure in a dark skirt and white socks looking on from the left background, which was perhaps more suitable.

The show was by four Greek photographers, Euripidis Martoglou, Dimitris Triantafillou, Dimitris Floros and Dimitris Foteinopoulos, who from 1944-1964 worked as the “United Photojournalists Agency.” The sixty pictures, from the collection of Nikos E. Tolis, were first shown at the Thessaloniki Chamber of Commerce and Industry in April-May 2007 as a part of the 19th International Photography Meeting organised by the Thessaloniki Museum of Photography, the only photography musuem in Greece. You may be more succesful than me in finding out more about this ‘Photobieenale’ (which has until now been an annual event) on its ‘cleverly designed’ web site (perhaps it has problems with Firefox.) There are times when I think that if most photography festival’s web site budget was cut by around 90% we would all be better served. On the web, simpler (and thus cheaper) design is nearly always better.

To see all the pictures from the show that are on the Foto Arte site, I think you also need to look at the artists pages for Dimitris Floros, Dimitris Foteinopoulous and Dimitris Triantafillou, as well as that for Euripidis Martoglou given previously, although most pictures appear on several of the pages. Disappointingly it doesn’t appear possible to identify which photographer took each picture – which come from an earlier, more primitive age of disrespect for the moral rights of photographers who are not attributed as the authors of their work. Of course this is a fight that photographers have yet to win, with newspapers and magazines in the UK seldom bothering to properly identify the source of their images. The show could also have benefited from rather tighter editing.

The show itself was actually a fascinating reflection on what now seems a distant age (and as the theme of the Greek festival in which it was first shown was ‘Time’, fittingly so, though it is harder to see how it fits Foto Arte’s ‘Nature, the Environment and Sustainability,) a real period piece, with the views of cars and the people around them – including a ‘Miss Greece‘ – providing a window onto the the immediate post-war years – liberation, the Marshall plan (which brought US autos), civil war, austerity, wide open streets and more. As well as the cars, the clothing also is very much a time machine.

You can see a few more pictures, although none of them among the more interesting in the show, at the Greek Ministry of Culture.

The show as a whole was a fine demonstration of how time alters how we view images. Many of those on show at the time would have seemed such obvious, ordinary statements as not to deserve the attention of the camera. (I used to tell my students, when showing them Stieglitz’s ‘The Terminal‘ that they should go down and take pictures like him at the local bus garage – but then they closed the garage, knocked it down and built some dreary offices on the site.) Some pictures, though certainly not all, acquire very different meanings over time.

My own view on the car is rather different, and I’ll write more on that – based on a part of the talk I gave in Brasilia – here on this site shortly.

Jan Van Ijken at Foto Arte 2007

Monday, December 24th, 2007

I’m not a veggie, but I do care about how we treat animals, whether kept as pets or for food or in the wild. Nature is of course red in tooth and claw (thanks to Tennyson for the cliche) and most of our farmed animals only exist as they are as either individual or species because we have bred and continue to breed them so.

The world would certainly be a less rich experience without our relationships with other species, and consumption is a vital part of that relationship. But the deliberate and excessive cruelty that forms a part of much (particularly modern) farming, which treats animals simply as units on which to maximise profits revolts me. And at times I’ve marched against animal cruelty even though I don’t agree with the views on animal liberation of many of those marching alongside.

I was pleased to be able to attend the opening of the show ‘Precious Animals‘ by Dutch photographer Jan Van Ijken (b1965) at the Teatro Nacional Galeria Athos Bulcao in Brasilia on December 18 (a short distance from the theatre – or, in Brasilia, a long drive – it continues until Jan 20, 2008.) Originally commissioned by the Rijksmuseum jointly with NRC Handelsblad as a part of ‘Document Nederland‘, it was first shown at the Huis Marseille in Amsterdam two years ago. Brought to Brasilia by the Dutch Embassy, it fitted the Foto Arte 2007 theme of ‘Nature, Environment and Sustainability’ well, and it was good to meet the Ambassador and several of his staff there, taking an obvious interest in photography and this work.

From Foto Arte 2007
Over 120,000 homing pigeons are released to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Netherlands Homing Pigeon Keepers Association.

Van Ijken’s black and white images examine a very wide range of relationships between animals and man, without making explicit judgements, although some are certainly implied by his concentration on certain aspects – such as the de-beaking of chicks and the crowding of some birds, although he still presents the evidence clearly and objectively.

His are not the kind of horror images you see on the posters of animal activists, although the cooler view perhaps can be even more chilling, certainly allowing you to reflect rather than simply see red.

His pictures show the wide range of our interaction with animals, and Van Ijken certainly has an eye for the surreal, which even some of the captions illustrate. One of my favourite images in the show is “A 9-year-old sow at “Hog Heaven,” a project that connects people with pigs.” (You can see it on-line in the fine photo essay ‘More Equal than Others‘ in ‘Mother Jones.’ The next image on line is “Amsterdam police officers cuddle cows as part of a stress therapy workshop.

In the pictures you see educational projects, pet clubs, animal rescue, animal shows, as well of course farming and vivisection. It is a curious reflection on our own species that while many animals are kept and slaughtered under inhumane conditions (it is difficult to avoid thinking torture) others are awarded the dignity of a funeral procession and burial with a suitable headstone in a pet cemetery,

Although there is currently only one picture from this series on the photographer’s own web site, you can see other work by this self-taught photographer who started taking pictures in 1995. There is a small selection of images on from the project at the Camera80 blog, but the Mother Jones feature mentioned above has the larger and more interesting set.

It certainly did make me think, but didn’t prevent me from going along to ‘Oliver‘, the restaurant at ECCO, and enjoying a truly excellent picanha (rump steak) after the show.

Brazil Trip – Part 1

Sunday, December 23rd, 2007

I’d be the first to recognise the contradiction in my flying over 6000 miles to Brasilia to talk about environmental problems, and I’m still recovering from the same journey back home. It was a relatively short and comfortable journey to Sao Paulo, but there was the mother of all queues snaking around the terminal to get through security and passport control, almost 2 worrying hours before I made the final call for boarding minutes before the timetabled flight time – because so many of us were held up the flight actually left around 45 minutes late.

Fourteen hours after finding my seat in the crowded economy section I was glad to be back at Heathrow, despite it being over 20 degrees cooler than when I left Brasilia the previous evening as I waited for the 255 bus in the chilly breeze at Terminal 4. I’d had a great – if occasionally fraught – time in Brasilia, and really wished I could have stayed much longer, but it felt good to be home.

I didn’t feel too bad about the carbon. It wan’t a pleasure trip, although there was much I enjoyed – especially the food and the company as well as the incredible architecture and some good exhibitions – I was there to share and spread a message about the inevitability of change and the need to do something about it, to work for a sustainable future. Also in my defence the four flights I made going there and back only bring the total over my life-time so far to ten.

Two of the 24 pictures in my show at the Espaco Cultural Renato Russo in Brasilia (if you are there it continues until 20 January) are of the protests about the yet further expansion planned for Heathrow, and it was encouraging on my return to read of our government’s announcement of a rethink on all policies based on carbon. Heathrow will be one of the key tests that will tell us whether they are really serious or just paying some post-Bali lipservice to the environment.

Brazilians lead Carbon protest in London
Brazilians lead the thousand mile ‘Cut the Carbon’ march on its last mile in London

I was particularly pleased to be able to show a picture of Brazilians leading the Christian Aid ‘Cut the Carbon‘ march earlier this year in London. Karla Osorio, Foto Arte 2007’s director, had sent my files to the best lab in Brazil, in Sao Paulo, and the A3 prints for the show were truly superb – just like the display on my wide-screen Eizo ColorEdge monitor – and roughly the same size. Eizo monitors aren’t cheap, but a good monitor and accurate profiling and calibration are the essential basis for getting prints right, and Christmas for me came early as I watched the parcel of prints being unwrapped for the work to be hung.

My visit and show was paid for by the British Embassy, and I was extremely pleased by the support of the Ambassador and the others there, including Kate Reynolds, responsible for promoting environmental issues, Matthew Rowlands who arranged travel and hotel and Luiz Hargreaves who simultaneously translated my lecture into Portuguese. I was heartened by the warm reception my work and talk received.

I started the lecture by looking at the photography of cities and urban landscape photography in particular, relating some of my and other pictures to the development of ideas about city planning (and Brasilia is of course the pinnacle and end-point of modernist planning by Lúcio Costa (1902-98) and architect Oscar Niemeyer, who celebrated his 100th birthday on the Saturday before I arrived, and is still at work.)

Most of the pictures I used were of London, although next time I’m asked to talk about the subject I think a few of the pictures I took in Brasilia will also be included. This was the opening image for my talk, one of the many from my web site ‘London’s Industrial Heritage‘, taken in the 1980s :

Tower Bridge from Bermondsey
Tower Bridge from Bermondsey Wall West, 1988

I didn’t say much about this picture in the talk, but it does help to make a point about the lack of good planning controls over the more sensitive parts of English cities. It’s still easy to find the spot from which I took this picture, obviously close to the Thames, and part of the Thames Path. Stand here now and what you will see rather than Tower Bridge are some undistinguished flats – and the same is true along much of the river where we have ponderous blocks designed to maximise use of space and developers’ profits. What we should have is not legislation that prevents development, but that – in such sites of high landscape and heritage value such as the Thames riverside – insists on high standards of work, probably through public architectural competition, as well as of course, public riverside access.

I’ll write more about my talk, which continued with my own project on Thames Gateway (there are a few pictures on line on the Urban Landscape web site) and some comments about the pictures of environmental protests and of the Manor Gardens allotments that were in the show, in a later piece, as well as more about the Foto Arte Festival. But next I’ll put some of the pictures I took in Brasilia on line.

Foto Arte 2007 Brasilia

Monday, December 17th, 2007

I suppose it’s nice to know the name of the condition you suffer from. One of mine is hodophobia, the morbid fear of travelling, although sometimes restricted to road travel, for me it it is at its worst in airport lounges, check ins and the like, surely a potent image of hell on earth, especially under our current paranoia about terrorism.

I don’t have any fear of actual flying – at least not so long as its inside an aeroplane. Even when I fell down a mountain in my youth, I don’t think I felt fear as I saw the earth whirling around below me, though perhaps I just didn’t have time as my second or two of free-fall ended in a very abrupt stop on one of the few small patches of springy grass around, cushioned by the full rucksack on my back.

Because it’s the waiting that is worst, giving time for worrying, and yes, I could worry for England. Or rather Britain, as it’s our embassy that has put up the money and arranged my last-minute trip to Brazil for Foto Arte 2007, where I’ll be showing work and talking about photography and the environment.

No third runway at Heathrow, Harmondsworth, June 2003

It’s a visit that is not without contradictions. Like flying rather a long distance to talk about the need to cut air travel – and two of the pictures are about the opposition to yet more expansion at Heathrow. And the whole thing being supported by the government that I’m going to criticize in various ways. Actually not just the current government but the whole system.

West Thurrock
Thames Gateway:West Thurrock

Much of my talk will actually be about urban landscape photography and will include material from the urban landscape web site I run with Mike Seaborne, looking at how photography can record and also comment on our environment. But the pictures – and the rest of my talk – are about environmental protests in London.

The pictures are already there, having taken the easy route over the Internet as high res jpeg files. They are almost all somewhere on My London Diary – but with around 25,000 other images, so I’ll put the set of 24 images together on-line so those of you who can’t make it to Brasilia can see them. (For copyright reasons I can’t put all of my talk online.)

PCF, Paris
PCF HQ, Paris

I’m looking forward to seeing Brasilia, and more of the buildings of Oscar Niemeyer, who remarkably is still at work and celebrated his 100th birthday last Saturday. In Paris last month I went to see his building for the French Communist Party.

PCF, Paris
PCF HQ, Paris

Along the Greenway

Sunday, December 16th, 2007

As it was a nice day on Thursday I took the chance of a walk along the Northern Outfall Sewer from Stratford to Old Ford, and then on to Hackney Wick. The ‘Greenway‘ of course runs through the centre of the London Olympic site, and last month a part of it was closed to allow for demolition work.

December 2007

Feb 2007

As you can see, things have changed slightly!

Further on, I went under the Northern Outfall where it goes over the Lea Navigation, and there was some splendid light and reflection:

From there I made for one of my favourite footbridges:

and had a job to tear myself away to get to Hackney Wick and catch the train to start my journey home.

More pictures on My London Diary.

East London Line

Sunday, December 16th, 2007

The East London Line is a vital transport link for many in East London, taking them across the Thames from Whitechapel to New Cross and New Cross Gate. The northern section to Shoreditch closed down a while back, and just before Christmas, the whole line is to shut for a lengthy period, opening as an extended service from Dalston Junction to Crystal Palace and West Croydon in 2010 (and adding Highbury & Islington in 2011.)

Although the extension is good news (and involves a fairly huge amount of public spending, although almost all of it is along existing routes), there is also bad news, that when it re-opens it will have been privatised, with 8 different contracts. The RMT union isn’t pleased, as the extended line will pay staff less and give them worsened conditions; it also thinks that there are safety implications of the sharing of signalling between London Underground and Network Rail.

Last Thursday they demonstrated against the privatisation outside City Hall, on the riverside next to Tower Bridge, with a coffin representing publicly owned railways, undertakers and a jazz band as well as various banners. It wasn’t a huge event – most of their members will have been at work, and there were perhaps a hundred there, but a lively parade circled City Hall several times before a short rally.

Transport for London have provided some replacement services, but nothing for the most important part of the line, going across the river between Wapping and Rotherhithe. The feeble excuse is that the can’t get the right kind of buses to go through the Rotherhithe tunnel.

Until closure the journey will take you one minute. Afterwards the alternative routes suggested by the TfL web site usually take around an hour. If you were going to and from work that could mean an extra couple of hours a day. However can they think that is satisfactory?

More pictures of course on My London Diary.