Saturday, May 24, 2014
Two ways of looking at it
In Warwick a couple of weeks ago, when not contemplating the remains of the old gas works, I found myself admiring the painted Egyptian lettering on a building in the town centre. The strong letter forms (they are part of the word ‘Museum’) work for me, even if a lettering aficionado would probably find all kinds of things wrong with them. The stroke widths are inconsistent, there’s something perverse about the pale ‘shadow’, the tan colour and the mortar merge uncomfortably in places, and as for the spacing, it’s so wide you could drive a bus through it. And yet these very faults, combined with the robust Egyptian forms, give these letters a presence and a character that I like. A shame they’ll probably all have to go when someone takes the masonry in hand and sorts out the pointing – but meanwhile, there is something in the lettering to admire.
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On a weekend when votes are being counted in the European elections, readers might want to find a political meaning in my photograph. No such meaning was intended when I took the picture, but my own interpretation would be that I love my country and I love Europe too.