Friday, May 02, 2008

My God ... it's enormous!

I had an hour to kill before yesterday evening's shenanigans so I took a walk around the newly refurbished and generally sexed-up St Pancras International Eurostar Terminal. It's dead posh now, all gleaming stainless steel and toughened glass and fancy shops and eateries. The glass roof makes the place seem as light and airy inside the station as it is outside.

There's some nice art around too. I loved Martin Jennings' statue of Sir John Betjemin. It's caught him exactly, even down to the shopping bag. But the big thrill - and I do mean big - is Paul Day's The Meeting place; a young couple locked in an embrace. Are they saying hello or goodbye? It's not something you worry about as you're too busy saying 'Whoa! Look at the size of them!' The statues are just under 30ft (or 9m) high and cast in bronze. I hate to think what they weigh. And the detail is extraordinary. Finally, above and behind them on the Barlow Arch is the St Pancras clock, a real thing of beauty recreated by Dent, makers of the original clock.
It really is hard to convey the size of this work even with a camera. The one image I didn't catch, unfortunately (I wasn't quick enough) was when a party of French schoolboys were being shepherded past by their teacher. Every single lad took the time to look up the skirt of the giantess above them.
And who says that we perpetuate national stereotypes?

1 comment:

John Soanes said...

It is, I agree, really rather splendid… though having recently missed a train (costing me over £40 for a new ticket) because the UK departures bit has one Fast-ticket machine (as opposed to the half-dozen or so at Paddington) which is far from fast, I'm rather inclined to question the list of priorities when it came to the rebuild.
Hah bumhug and all that…
J