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Eestikeelsed artiklid



August Künnapu


Vilen Künnapu


Harry Pye

Mehis Heinsaar

Vilen Künnapu


Harry Pye’s Postcard from London

The Elephant & Castle

The Elephant And Castle is an area in South London. Charlie Chaplin was born there and so was Michael Caine. It’s a fairly run down area but I’ve always felt safe there. I’ve heard some Londoners joke, “Elephant and Castle? – stick it up your arsehole”. Although it’s badly designed, messy and something of an eyesore, it’s still a good place to live as it’s so easy to get to and from. Plus it has that, “so bad it’s good” quality about it. The Elephant & Castle was originally called Newington. The Elephant And Castle was just the name of a popular pub. Sometime around 1750 Newington got changed to The Elephant And Castle – I guess people just liked the name.

Over the next 6 years the Elephant is going to have one and a half billion pounds spent on it. The Elephant’s renovation plans include enlarging the shopping centre by 800.000 square feet to make it the biggest in the country and the building of a massive library.Last month me and my friends Chris Coombes, John Moseley and Julian Wakeling decided to spend the day at The Elephant. I commented that we were probably the only people who were going to see the Elephant because we cared about it, rather than just going there to get a tube or bus to somewhere else.

A while ago Julian, Chris and myself attended a photography exhibition. It wasn’t the best show we’d ever seen and we found ourselves saying, “We could do better than this”. Somehow we all started playing with the idea of being a collective or photography club called Coombes, Moseley, Pye and Wakeling. When an artist friend invited us to take part in a group photography show called, “Real Life” it seemed like the perfect moment for Coombes, Moseley, Pye & Wakeling to make their debut.

In shops like Boots the Chemist and in some Supermarkets it’s possible to buy a disposable camera for just a couple of pounds. The four of us decided to buy a “use once and then throwaway” camera and then take 27 photos each of The Elephant.

The “Real Life” exhibition that our friend is organizing takes place in a school in East London. The average age of our audience is probably going to be 11. I remembered when I was around the age of 11 me, my sister and a few of our friends all loved a film called “The Outsiders” (which was based on the book by S.E. Hinton). A key moment of the film is when two young boys talk about a poem by Robert Frost:

“Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her earliest leaf a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day,
Nothing gold can stay”

Wakeling & Moseley

In the film, the characters know that nothing lasts forever but still make a promise to each other that they will “stay gold”. I guess I was thinking about The Elephant and Castle going through changes like a teenager. It probably feels hated and ugly – in the way most teenagers do.

It was curious going there to take photos. It was like seeing the place with a different pair of eyes. Strange but all the clashing buildings, wierdly patterned carpets and general oddness about the place is really rather charming. It was as though something changed the day Coombes, Moseley, Pye and Wakeling went to The Elephant. The sun came out. We finally saw it’s beauty. Shine on Elephant and Castle.

Photos: photo club “Coombes, Moseley, Pye & Wakeling”

Harry Pye

Harry Pye is a writer, curator and painter who lives and works in London. See also his other postcards from London in previous issues of Epifanio.


August Künnapu & Harry Pye.
Photo: Aive Mets