Many Londoners enjoy getting framed pictures of town and cityscapes, bringing into the world of art a framed piece of imagery amid the apparently unlimited sprawl of urbanism that they find around them.
Such images may be historic, such as those classic black and white photos of brave skyscraper construction workers perched on steel girders, or they may have a contemporary theme, often highlighting particular angles or colours of famous buildings or even prominent new structures, both of which are plentiful in London.
For those who want to see something that truly pushes the boundaries, the photography and printwork of Tom Leighton may be particularly appealing.
Leighton’s works take two forms. He produces some contemporary photographs, but alongside this, he produces prints of fictionalised cityscapes. Londoners will have seen many of them, for he has exhibited his works at venues such as the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Singulart says of his work: “Fascinated by the urban environment, he has photographed and worked with iconic and hidden architecture worldwide. Leighton expertly manipulates images to allow us to imagine alternative cities of the present and the future.”
It adds that he invites the viewer to join him in seeing “beauty in everything”, often in aspects of buildings and places that may seem mundane or are often overlooked. Trained at London’s Royal College of Art, he has been looking at London’s urban form this way for a long time.
The appeal of all this for Londoners might be quite substantial. It is not just that there have been many big and sometimes fantastical ideas of what the British capital might look like in the future; the speed at which some areas are being redeveloped, often with some very novel (and occasionally opinion-splitting) architecture means that the future is now.
At the same time, when the reimagining of a city can focus on some rather basic and prosaic elements, rather than just the obvious stand-out aspects like tall buildings or open squares, it creates a range of new artistic possibilities. For anyone wanting to display framed urban images on their walls, it creates an opportunity to build up an eclectic collection.
The array of images Tom Leighton has built up has come from a lot further than London’s cityscape, dynamic and ever-changing though it is. He has travelled extensively, visiting both modern and ancient cities around the world, contrasting historic architecture with contemporary developments in places like Hong Kong or the Middle East.
As the photographer’s biography notes, this fascination has now extended into a new area; that of design in nature and the crossover between the actual and the surreal, ranging from rocks formed in volcanoes to the intricate details of feathers.
Above all, Tom Leighton’s works are not straightforward representations of the world just as it is. With different angles, ideas and alterations, his works challenge those viewing them to take a fresh look and think differently. Such images can provide a wonderful feature in your home that can fascinate visitors, inviting them to join a journey of the imagination.