Wednesday, October 6, 2010


The Window Cleaner. Photograph by Tim Irving
The Window Cleaner - Photograph by Tim Irving

Yesterday I was taking photographs of some of the most extreme examples of military hardware. The items I'm interested in cost many millions, sometimes billions of dollars to produce and maintain. This type of equipment can't be sold off at the end of it's useful life to an army surplus store, it's must either be scrapped or mothballed.

Housed in an enormous structure of biblical proportions, this is a long range bomber that once carried nuclear weapons. Bathed in artificial blue lights, I found it very beautiful in form and texture. I don't know what it's made of, it feels soft, smooth, and sensuous to the touch. Being alone, inside a building of this scale with this object whose form is perfect, I experienced the same feelings I used to feel (when they weren't so crowded), visiting art galleries or cathedrals. I'd recommend it.

Pratt and Whitney Turbine Engine. Photograph by Tim Irving
Plumbing - Photograph by Tim Irving
How about this for a piece of art. The photograph above is a detail of a Pratt and Whitney turbine engine, one of two used to propel a Blackbird SR-71 spy plane. It is fabulous, every part of the engine is hand made with the great skill, using rare and precious metals. Flying this aeroplane costs $50,000 an hour.

The day was very exciting and uplifting, I was on an emotional high but in need of refreshment. It crossed my mind that the very intelligent people who look after all this stuff probably make a good cup of tea, and with all the technology at their disposal, you can be certain that any cake baked on the premises would be perfect. 
Call that a scone?
But I was wrong! The cakes were dry and the tea bland.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I get it, your description of what it's like to be there. Last week I was alone with Richard Serra's enormous "Band" sculptures inside LACMA. Gave me waves of tingles.

    (they must have been using too much left brain energy while preparing the tea & cakes)



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