Wouldn't it be amazing to work inside of Tower Bridge? Alex Evans is living this dream, he's the first artist in residence inside the bridge.
A studio has been carved out for him in the heart of the structure, and when we meet him we can hear the footsteps and voices of tour groups on the other side of the walls. Alex has been given free reign to explore the bridge as part of this role, and he tells us that the last time the bridge opened he rushed up so he could look down upon it from the glass walkway — we're incredibly jealous.
He's surrounded by his detailed drawings that cover everything from the bridge as a whole to its little architectural details. From the sheer volume of sketches, it's clear he has a soft spot for the impressive window designs.
My goal is to find beauty within Victorian art and architecture
It's not hard to make the bridge look beautiful, but when we talk to Alex it's clear the bigger challenge is to bring a new dimension to one of the most geotagged and Instagrammed locations in the world. What can he offer beyond what's already on the Internet?
Everyone has so many associations with the bridge, the challenge was to try and look at the building as if seeing it for the first time
He even jokes that when he told friends about the residency, they thought he must be terrified by this monumental task.
Upon seeing the fruits of his labours, we're glad to report that he's up to the task.
We love how Tower Bridge to melts away into particulate matter, or is it appearing from the fog? Alex loves the ambiguity and remarks people fall evenly across both camps.
There are architectural details breaking off into abstract forms and etchings into Portland stone, the very material used in the construction of the bridge. There are around a dozen works and they may be found within the wider Tower Bridge exhibition.
It's not all about Alex's work — part of the residency involves working with the local community to help children produce artworks and some of their abstract creations can be found up in the walkways.
Alex Evans is the first artist in residence at the bridge and we're hopeful the residencies continue. It would be great to see how different talented artists take inspiration from this famous landmark.
This amazing experience has been socially engaging, responsive and critical and has allowed me to really develop my practice. Tower Bridge has such fantastic spaces; intriguing, conflicting and surprising.
Beauty and the Bridge is on as part of the Tower Bridge exhibition until the Autumn. Access is included in the ticket price of £9.80 for adults.