Although the symmetry and geometry of the Georgian architecture is something that my photographic eye loves to capture, I find the Abbey, particularly intricate carvings on the outside, let alone the interior, has caught my imagination.
I find myself drawn to the details in architecture, which are often missed if one isn’t looking. These details can be anything from faces, motifs, to false balconies and windows.
The carvings of angels climbing ladders to heaven caught my interest. Religious motifs on religious buildings is nothing new, but they do say a lot about the community worshiping at a particular building and place – even if the meaning is lost in the human memory.
I am sure there is some theological thought behind these angels, but I am not entirely sure what it is, and am sure many people would be in the same boat. One meaning could be they are getting closer to God.
However, I do find the angels also reflect human experience, whether it is trying to get closer to God, climbing the social ladder, getting a higher view to survey what is around us, coming down from our high horse to get closer to one another, or merely climbing out of the gutter.
I am reminded to what Oscar Wilde once said, rather insightfully:
“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”
Regardless whether one is religious / spiritual or not, there is human desire to dream, imagine and understand the world around us. Without this, humanity wouldn’t be as curious and creative as we are and discover as much as we have.
Photographically, the angels provide some delightful detail to Bath Abbey that imposes its presence onto the city. They are surveying a city that has drawn people from the Romans to the Georgians to the present day with its baths, architecture and beautiful surrounds.