Michael Collins

We went down to Trinity Buoy Wharf to see an exhibition of images of the ‘Pillars in the River’ by Michael Collins, a photographer who likes to document modern industrial remains in a studiously deadpan documentary style:

He takes the pictures digitally – they are apparently multiple images in order to get the precision in the depth of field and the element if surrealism in the images, documenting detail in a way that would not ordinarily be visible to the eye. The pillars are all that remain of Beckton Gas Works, described by Ian Nairn as ‘a magic world of plant and pipes, holders and small hills of coal – even wharves and funnels, for good measure, at the far end’, all of it now gone. Collins is documenting these twentieth-century survivals of the industrial economy before they too have gone.


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