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Thames Barrier

William Raban
1977
8mins Colour 16mm
3 screen

Thames Barrier

a three screen work

Ships are already returning upstream. Chimneys, cranes, and gas storage tanks make a firm dark shape against the morning sky. The cranes cut space into angled planes between their girders. At midday the painted huts and rusting hulks burst into colour. They have lost the monotone flatness of silhouettes. Now the sun is stronger, colours on the north bank appear at shouting pitch. The clouds return and colour gives way to distance. At night there is a constant hum from the working barrier. The sodium lights are on, and a low pulse throbs from the cranes and jetties. (WR)

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