Traditionally an area for the working classes, the last 30 years have seen great change with the area being regenerated and gentrified. Many new buildings celebrating the maritime past sit beside old warehouses that have been converted to flats, retail space or public buildings.
Public art has been incorporated into the regeneration, and generally ties the area to its historical past. While visiting Woolwich Arsenal, some steps caught my eye.
Sitting on the river banks of the Thames, Woolwich Arsenal’s past is deeply connected with the manufacturing of armaments, ammunition proofing and explosives research for the British armed forces. The history dates back to the 1670s.
Although the steps serve a very practical purpose, I saw the rippling affect of the Thames in them. Sitting along a pathway running beside the Thames, they were like the riverbank, warn over time by the shifting, tidal waters.
The fluidity of the river really represented the stories and history of the area. The stories ebbing and flowing as time passed with fortunes waxing and waning as many times as there are moons to take the tide in and out.
I had been photographing the area in black and white, mainly due to the historical buildings in the area, and the steps lent themselves well to this. The viewer can feel and smell the river and history in the textured stones and concrete as they ebb and flow from side to side.
The steps are a reminder of how fluid the human existence, and experience, is.
The above image is available to buy as a print. For more information, please click here.