Category Archives: Observations

Unnerving Architecture in London

Unnerving Architecture in London 2

Every city sees an ebb and flow of architectural development and the development of a new area can bring about beautiful contrasts of old and new. The styles can intermingle with each other and create something astonishingly beautiful. This, however, does not seem to be the case with London.

Unnerving Architecture in London1

The modern tends to collide with the traditional. In some cases there seems to be this physical mishmash of nonsense as a result. It seems more akin to a creative child’s opus of Meccano and Lego more so than an architect’s vision.

Unnerving Architecture in London
It’s as if the city is trying to blend the traditional and the modern without either side’s willingness to concede a single inch and the resulting shambles ensures that nobody really gains anything.

 

 

 

 

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Tattoos, Originality & Regret?

 

Tattoos

It was ten years ago when I got the ‘tri-spiral’ tattooed on my upper arm. A cliqued place for a young Irish man to be inked, and even more unoriginal a Celtic symbol. It was at the time a quasi-rebellious, if pathetically tame, act of self-expression and body ownership. I say was because had I been born five to ten years later, the perceived norm has become littering yourself with every pop icon symbol or phrase you saw once, liked and can barely comprehend the depth of.

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Romanticising Yet Disregarding Revolution in Modern-Day England

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I’ve chosen a beautiful drawing by Andrea Bowers, which is based on Walter Crane’s 1894 Offering for May Day as the photo for this piece on purpose. Walter’s original was published in a socialist magazine and Bowers reimagined version can be seen in London’s Tate Modern. Theoretically this should be seen as a progression because the symbol has become immortalised in art and lauded as a masterpiece in the modern day. However, in reality, it seems to symbolise society’s desire to romanticise symbols for their aesthetic beauty and not their message.

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Barcelona – Gaudi’s Practicality of Beauty

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Perhaps the only thing more amazing then the striking architecture of Gaudi’s Casa Batlló is the fact that it was for all purposes just that – a casa! Josep Batlló and his family commissioned Gaudi to build a house – a distinctive house granted – but a house nonetheless. It was a house they lived in until their deaths and remained in the family for nearly twenty years afterwards. It’s an impressive example of how art can be both breathtaking and have a pragmatic purpose. It also exemplifies Gaudi’s genius, the fact that he was capable of producing a perfect marriage of spectacle and home.

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Bucharest – Tragic Tyranny in The House of the People

 

House of People 4I went to the Romanian Parliament – known in Romanian as The House of The People – with my Romanian girlfriend and her mother recently and I’ve never been struck by more of a sense of pathetic irony in my life. Its name suggests a place where people are free and the ownership of the building is in the hands of the people. This however, has never been the case. Since its construction in 1984 to the present day, this palace has never been a house of the people. It is a place where tyranny rules, preposterous opulence reigns and freedom is ground to dust.

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Athena’s Acropolis – A Spectacular Idea Yet Desecrated Reality

 

Arcopolis 4

A stunning symbol of the birth of European democracy, philosophy and science; a culture and society which was so ahead of it’s time, society seemed to collapse in on itself after it’s fall – this is what one thinks of when one thinks of the Acropolis. It was a marvel at its zenith. Centuries of looting and destruction later – and two centuries of archeological annihilation and reconstruction – and its difficult to even comprehend what is left. It has become a great wonder of the world, and as such, archeologists feel the need to ‘renovate’ it.

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Athens – A Crisis Within A Crisis

 

Refugee 1There is a great deal in the media about the refugee crisis in Europe and Greece’s role as a buffer zone between Turkey and the rest of Europe. The majority of it centers on the EU’s attempts to prevent refugees entry and the banishment of refugees to Turkey – all of which I believe to be clearly true.

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