So on Wednesday I finished off taking photos, making my way to Holborn for St George’s Bloomsbury, then walking down to bank for St Mary Woolnoth. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to make it to the last two, St Alphege’s in Greenwich and St Johns Horsleydown(which actually was demolished after being bombed in the Blitz).
I spent the first few hours printing contact sheets and cutting out, choosing the best shots and arranging them, working out the layout and printing a black and white mock up.
Then after lunch I got to writing the copy for my article, and then laying it all out in InDesign and printing, ready for our crit at 3:30/4pm. Here is what I wrote…
Hawksmoor, Nicholas (1661-1736), architect
Nicholas Hawksmoor has a whirlwind of conspiracies around him, from flesh eating demons and Masonic cults to Atlantis, Jack the Ripper and Pagan beliefs. Many believe the arrangement of his churches creates the key lines to form a giant pentagram across the northeast/east of the City. Hawksmoor was supposed to have taken influence from pagan designs when creating the churches, Built from striking white Portland limestone, he made the steeples phallic, the entrances daunting and overpowering, the idea being to discourage people from entering. Hiding secret symbols everywhere, in Greenwich, four Roman sacrificial altars guard the entrance portico of St Alfege, and Doric columns and pilasters decorate its exterior. The same altars reappear atop the tower of St George-in-the-East in Wapping. In a similar position at St Anne, Limehouse, there is a set of pyramids, while another pyramid some three metres high stands mysteriously within its grounds.
The most unusual and flamboyant of Hawksmoor’s churches is St George, Bloomsbury. Its entrance portico was inspired by the Temple of Bacchus, built by the Romans at Baalbeck in Lebanon during the second century. And the incredible stepped pyramid of the spire is a reconstruction of the Tomb of Mausolus at Halicarnassus. Above this, a statue of George I stands proudly on another Roman sacrificial altar. Over the years there has been many authors making fictional works around these ideas, from Iain Sinclair’s classic early text, Lud Heat, to Peter Ackroyd’s chilling murder story ‘Hawksmoor’. In From Hell, Alan Moore’s graphic novel about the Ripper murders, the character Sir William Gibb suggests that the writings of the Roman architectural scholar Vitruvius led Hawksmoor to become a follower of the Dionysiac cult. The Dionysiacs were the mythical master craftsmen of Atlantis, who founded Freemasonry and whose descendants built the great monuments of antiquity, including Solomon’s Temple, the pyramids and the Tomb of Mausolus. Legend has it that they also worshipped a flesh-eating god, Dionysius (aka Bacchus), who was the original model for the horned, masked devil at the centre of the Black Mass. Gibb speculates that through his churches, Hawksmoor sought to perpetuate the occult teachings of the Dionysiacs. Here you can see for yourself the power and haunting brashness of Hawksmoors churches. If you have the chance, make a day of it and visit them all.
Personally I wasn’t happy with the grid area of my layout, as it was too plain and straight, it would have been a lot better to take a photo of the arrangements I had done earlier with the contact sheet photos and placed text around them using InDesign after.
It was interesting seeing other peoples, Jessica’s was a personal highlight, which you can see underneath mine and to the right on the wall, with its use of colour and the photos were just really good, well lit and had a lot of life.