Tag Archives: zemran

An old photo: Parkour poseur, 2009

Southbank Centre, London, 2009 – Photo taken on a Canonet QL19 with TriX film. Copyright (C) Jon Smalldon 2009, All rights reserved.

According to my flickr stats, there are just shy of 4,500 photos I’ve taken that are waiting on that feed to be discovered. And odd feeling. By volume, most will be of sporting fixtures that are now barely remembered even by those who were playing. This morning, I decided to have a browse through and stop when one caught my I that was both interesting and that I couldn’t remember taking.

This athletic fellow was showing his moves off in front of my Canonet rangefinder – I love that camera but real life gets in the way of film photography at the minute – nearly a decade ago. His shape mirrors that of Zemran, the work by William Pye that you can see rising from the upper walkway. His attitude bursts from the graffiti’d skatepark in the background. The same skatepark that caused so much issue when Southbank Centre tried to shift its users away so that the space could turn commercial to part-finance the refurbishment of the Queen Elizabeth Hall.

The Queen Elizabeth Hall reopens following that refurbishment in a few weeks. The skate park is still there, now with added notoriety.  Zemran was made a work of national importance requiring proper protection in 2016. The kid in the photo held his pose for a few minutes and then moved on.

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A sculpture by any other name

My default setting when naming my photos is to resort to repeating whatever words, or parts of words, are visible. I struggle a bit when there are no signs in shot and it’s not a report shot of say “Chesham United v Bury Town” where the title plays second fiddle to the event its showing. This lead in is going somewhere and the place it’s heading is the reveal that the sculpture here is apparently called ‘Zemran’.

I say ‘apparently’ because despite having walking past it hundreds of times, having drunk beer in its vicinity and listened to muzak very close by on many occasions I have never been able to memorise what’s on the plaque that tells you all about it and all my googling skills are doing is revealing that there is a piece of stainless steel art outside the Queen Elizabeth Hall. It’s called Zemran. And it’s by William Pye.

Which is fine. It’s enough to find out that’s had a life elsewhere … but not enough to understand the title.

If anyone out there in blogland knows can you drop me a line… in the meantime here’s Zemran still partially covered in January snow and revealed by Ilford HP5 large here.