Monday, 18 November 2013

Laurie Chetwood's 10 x 10 picture

“The area formed part of the walls of Londinium (Barbican is from the LatinBarbecana meaning fortified outpost or tower). The site was used as a burial ground during Anglo-Saxon times, later becoming a Jewish cemetery and finally an un-consecrated burial ground for non-conformists.  In the 17th century the City fathers refused permission for theatrical productions within the City.  As the Barbican lay outside the walls it became the centre for amateur theatricals and entertainment, alongside a warren of slum housing and impoverished dwellings.  The site was destroyed by German bombs during WWII, brutally revealing much of the area’s history.The present-day development commenced in 1958, taking 20 years to complete, and is Europe’s largest arts centre. The picture shows The Barbican as a graveyard - the residential towers as tombstones.  Contemporary dancers perform whilst being watched by ghost-like figures of evacuees who lived there and were never to return”.


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