Sunday 29 March 2015

London to Brussels

A year and a half ago, the first stage of the railway journey to St Petersburg entailed taking the Eurostar to Brussels. The current trip begins in the same fashion, although this time the train from London is rather more busy, thanks to this being the first Saturday of the Easter holiday.

At Brussels there was a similar amount of time for changing trains, a generous hour, although many of the trains are running a few minutes late, which might have been due to poor visibility in the fog. Ouside the station, leaving by the exit from Brussels Midi with the double-height wall-sized panel from Tintin in America (it shows Tintin bravely clinging on to the front of a steam locomotive, complete with motion lines, although rail travel in Belgium is less exciting than this), I went to see the site of the etching I had made from the source material gathered last time I was here. The building which was the focus of the print has now been demolished, leaving a plot of fine, flattened rubble

What still remains is the long low stump of a wall that cuts across the foreground of the etching from which protrudes a linear mass of twisted, rusting steel reinforcing rods, which was very enjoyable to draw, as a device to divide up the space in the picture. After rephotographing the scene, a few steps further along the short street are a pair of temporary concrete barriers, such that one finds around building works. I had photographed one of these eighteen months ago, with a slogan against Mohamed Morsi, who had been deposed two months earlier. The graffiti was still there.

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