The Park may not be as glamorous now as it was when The Crystal Palace stood in its boundaries, but its charm and character draws me back. The graffiti-ed Sphinx statues, the crumpling statues and stairs, and anatomically incorrect dinosaurs are reminders of Victorian grandeur, curiosity and scientific thought.
I have photographed Crystal Palace Park in all seasons, and have enjoyed the changing moods, colours and difference in light. While I enjoy photographing the dinosaurs, I am increasingly drawn to the other side of the park, which isn’t as maintained as the area of the dinosaurs. The decaying grandeur of the statues and stairs draw me in.
A week ago, I was walking through the park and taking photos along the way. I was enjoying a bustling park on a Saturday afternoon with nature in slumber. The muted colours gave me a subtle palate to work with, and accented the crumpling remnants of Victorian splendour. The 2 films I was shooting on focused my attentions on what really caught my eye.
I was photographing the Sphinx statues, and was really enjoying the light falling across the faces of a couple of them. I was particularly drawn to one. Its eyes had been drawn in with black marker – making them look less dead. The statue looked as though it was still surveying the park from its perch. The statue has seen many changes since it was placed in the park – and I am sure that it will bear witness to future changes.
For me, the eyes drew me in – and I could relate at its gaze. The parallel is I often feel like I am perched somewhere taking photos of what is around me. I have sometimes gone back to re-photograph something or an area and have picked up something different or any change that has happened – however subtle.