Friday, 5 November 2010

Whence and Whither

The Sunshine Roof

Cyril Power created these images over 80 years ago
as he experimented with the new technique of linocuts
but the experience of commuting in London
is still immediately recognisable:

The Escalator

the steamed up windows of the bus,
the surge of people joining the escalator,
the frustration of arriving on the platform
just as the train departs.

Whence and Whither

I think of MissM on her way to work,
hurrying down Piccadilly,
wrapped up in her coat and scarf

The Tube Station

and I remember the thrilling feeling
of being a part of that great bustling city
because I was only a little bit older than her
when I started my first job in the City.

The Tube Train


  1. I love these prints.
    They take me back to my final teaching practice. I lived in Teddington and went , for 6 weeks, by train, tube and bus, to Bethnal Green, via 'Bank' where the trains were crammed with bowler hatted gents.
    I liked the daily decision at Waterloo, whether to get the clockwise or anti clockwise route to Teddington. The two platforms were at the extreme opposite ends of the station.
    I became a good sprinter. Although it was more of a yomp with all the books I had to carry. But I did get to see Lassie the stuffed Airedale at Wimbledon station sometimes.
    (Sorry to hi-jack your comments with this long one)

  2. I am sure that's how I knew I was in London. I arrived 'fresh off the plane' and found myself at Victoria and trying to get to Swiss Cottage and being completely befuddled.

    The images are fantastic...and also mutli-national as I am sure that is what Sydney's train stations look like too.

  3. Marvellous prints - they make it seem so romantic. My own experience of commuting into London for my first job involved more often than not being stuffed under some smelly man's armpit. I quickly found a bus route, which took longer but was blissfully free of olfactory assault. And let me gaze out through fogged up windows at St Pauls and Gray's Inn.

    I walked my old haunts when we last met, but the person I was then, seemed far far removed. I still love the top of a double decker, though.

  4. There are some fabulous examples of 'transport art' around. Have you seen The Persephone Post this week? Yesterday's is particularly striking.

  5. Each and every day I ask myself:
    where does she find such beautiful paintings/pictures/drawings/sketches?
    And they are all so perfectly matched with your words.

  6. Bus is best and can be quicker. One always has a good signal as well.

    With regards to the bottom picture I was surprised to see there are no straphangers. Clearly a quieter day.

  7. Those pictures are so lovely they make commuting look almost romantic. Not a bad feat!

  8. Wonderful prints - I can just about remember tubes filled with gents in hats!

  9. I am with Paola - where do you find the artwork - you have introduced me to so many new images. I thank you.

  10. What fantastic prints. I'm off to read more about Cyril Power.

  11. Are these images not for showing in deepest Dorset? *le sigh* I probably would have found them most evocative of my days as an urban commuter.

  12. You may collect the works of a silversmith but I find you a true wordsmith. I would like to collect your words!

  13. What amazingly lovely prints those are! They really do capture the tube, the escalators, and everything....

  14. My beloved linocut fan will love these.

  15. These are just amazing prints. I love the movement, the colour and the "primative" feeling. I well remember the thrill of starting my career at Liberty and having to pinch myself everyday at the excitement of living in London!!!I love your blog and hardly ever comment. Hope you are well Alice xxxxx
    Love Alice (Alice & Ginny)

  16. Those prints are great!

  17. These Grosvenor School prints: Cyril Power, Sybil Andrews, Lill Tschudi - are all so wonderful and they can also be found for sale at The Bookroom Art Press - just google it - fantastic. DG

  18. these prints are a piece of artwork like not before


Thank you! I love reading your comments and even though I don't always have time to reply I am really grateful to every one who joins in the conversation.