Tidal Rooms is an exploration of the monumental, utilitarian structures and spaces of the Thames foreshore by architectural photographer James Retief.
Descending the weathered steps to the Thames foreshore, a curious inversion takes place. Foundation piles become monumental columns, coffered concrete soffits an articulated ceiling, and the rigidly programmed and increasingly sterile contemporary city gives way to the messy, ever-shifting terrain of the foreshore. It is a landscape that feels contradictory; a periphery within the city centre.
This feeling of distance and disorientation is further enhanced by the reframing of the city through the foreign, subterranean foreground of the weathered structures with their rich patina of organic growth and decay. The theatrical monumentality of these utilitarian structures provides a rich backdrop for public life. There's the sense of an empty stage full of civic potential, with clues as to what truly public space can aspire to achieve.
Gallery only open on Saturdays and Sundays during the Festival: 11/12/18/19/25/26 June, or by appointment. See www.garethgardner.gallery for more information.