Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Graffiti No. 1

This isn't about gang tags or fashionable slogans but rather looking at historic graffiti.  Things that might be hidden under modern decorations and might be a single mark or might be a whole fleet of aircraft.  I mention this because one of the most emotive pieces of graffiti I have ever seen is the silhouettes of German bombers penciled onto dado paneling of an Oxfordshire church tower.  It is always exciting to find this sort of graffiti.  It raises so many question and for me at least, becomes a direct link to an individual, a time or event.  But it also presents the problem of whether and how to preserve it.  After all, it may well have been done clandestinely and quickly covered up.  It was almost certainly never meant to last.

This curvy figure was hidden under some nasty, inappropriate and badly done matchboard.  Before that it had been partly obscured with blackboard paint.  It's not the usual builders scrawl, the chalk lines have depth and texture and the proportion and shading show some skill.  But it's not part of any design within the building and in chalk, it is probably not possible to consolidate and preserve in any way.  Does this matter?  Here, I think not.  But I would like to think that whatever happens next might allow it to survive for someone else to find.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Invisible Green

Invisible green is a green so dark that it renders itself invisible and appears black.  So you could call it black but that's not very poetic is it.  It's origination is attributed to Humphrey Repton for use on railings in gardens.  It was apparently used on the door to No.10 Downing Street.  Coincidently, invisible green is also used at Hughenden Manor, the home of Benjamin Disraeli, Prime Minister and resident of No.10 in 1868 and later from 1874 to 1886.