Nude beginnings: Riverside Kingston development to pay tribute to Kingston photography pioneer Eadweard Muybridge
5:00am Friday 24th January 2014 in News By Ross Logan, Chief Reporter [YourLocalGuardian.co.uk]
Images taken by Eadweard Muybridge could soon be a familiar site along Kingston riverside.
The Riverside Kingston development this week. Muybridge’s images will be seen on the large white panel to the right of the picture
Artistic images of women posing nude for legendary photography pioneer Eadweard Muybridge could soon become a familiar sight along Kingston’s riverside.
The company behind the new Riverside Kingston restaurant development, next to Kingston Bridge, has announced bold plans to commemorate one of the town’s most famous sons by emblazoning its building with stills from his Human Figures in Motion project, carried out in the mid 1880s.
The oversized black and white photographs would greet visitors coming into town from Richmond over Kingston Bridge, as well as those travelling along the Thames.
Developers Canadian and Portland Estates hope that in time, the projection will become as recognisable a landmark as David Mach’s Out Of Order phone box sculpture in Old London Road.
Kingston-born Eadweard Muybridge broke new ground in photography
Greg Miles, head of promotions and animation at Canadian and Portland Estates, said: “Eadweard Muybridge was born and died in Kingston and became a pioneer of photography and the moving image.
“His work is internationally recognised and contributed hugely towards the development of film, which has a vast influence over our lives.
“Kingston owns one of the world’s largest collections of Muybridge’s images and we believe this is something Kingston should celebrate and we wanted to honour the beauty and importance of his work on our building.”
Phase one of Riverside Kingston is due to open in April, bringing five popular restaurant chains to the town for the first time – Cote, Busaba Eathai, CAU, Comptoir Libanais and Bill’s.
Muybridge is credited with revolutionising still photography through his famous motion sequence technique, which paved the way for motion pictures.
Despite the cultural nod to Kingston’s heritage, Kingston Society chairman Jennifer Butterworth was not impressed by the proposal to beam his work across the Thames.
She said: “What is being proposed will only make bad worse.
“It doesn’t matter if the ladies are nude or not.
“We objected to the Riverside sign [on top of the building] and we object to anything more making this site look like a cinema show.”
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** So, several years after a major retrospective of Muybridge’s images graced the walls of the Tate Britain art gallery, his photographs are still objected to on the grounds that they represent a “cinema show”. Not only are we still fighting the prejudices against film as art, we’re back to the 1970s struggle to have photography recognized as art. It might not be appropriate to have these pictures on the site suggested, but the objectors will need to come up with some better reasons for rejecting the internationally renowned work of Kingston’s famous son.