Water Towers

There are vertical features in our landscapes.

Prominent architecture, largely functionalist.

We can travel from pylon to pylon, spire to spire.

I espy water towers, and espouse the recording thereof.

I was first aware of the work of Bernd and Hilla Becher  many years ago, as a young art student I developed an empathy for their matter of fact photography, and a warm sense of the familiar with the largely industrial, everyday subject matter.

I have often made light hearted reference, to their austere conceptual grids.

The bungalows of Humbertson Fittes Lincolnshire

becher's bungalows copy

The British Rail freight van stables of Greater Manchester

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 16.54.23

And of course water towers, some are familiar to me in the areas around south Manchester, easily accessibly by bicycle across the Cheshire Plain. So over time I have set out with a clear intent or serendipitous disposition, a modern day Don Quixote, sans Sancho Panza, tilting and snapping at towers.

Access is not always easy, or permitted for that matter – there are gates and fences to overcome, brambles and barbed wire to catch yourself on, but it’s always worth it. As a typology they are various, in design, structure and materials.

Summer 2014 I cycled from Hastings to Cleethorpes, following where possible a coastal route, in search of nothing in particular. Needless to say I found several water towers, eight of note – amongst other things.

One thought on “Water Towers

  1. That’s a very nice collection. Of course the Bechers cheated a little by building a platform to stand on while photographing their towers, reducing the effect of converging verticals. They didn’t have to contend with the blight that are phone masts either…

    Like

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