(All images by Simon Hopkinson, reproduced with permission)
In Simon Hopkinson’s urban scenes, he not only shows a compelling vision of unnoticed or derelict areas but also the journey we make through them in our day to day lives. Stairways, roads, and views from train windows are all captured, but there’s no sense of urgency in his spacious and mostly empty scenes. A few lone figures pass through, sipping coffee on train station platforms, or walking through graffitied subways. We, like those figures, are left alone to take our time looking around the stark and beautifully lit areas, noticing things we may not otherwise have seen.
Simon’s interest in the urban landscape began when he moved to Bristol, UK, at the age of 18. You can see his reverence to the city, with all its lesser-known nooks and crannies, only occasionally recognised by its occupants. His choice of including people in his scenes reminds us that we are still looking at a city existing in realtime. The abandoned areas don’t seem forgotten or lonely in his work, they are just quietly existing alongside everything else.
The partnering of the abandoned with the transitory (as with the derelict Post Office building alongside the railway tracks of Temple Meads Station – top), is a perfect allusion to how a city has changed over time and how it will continue to change in the future. Visit www.simonhopkinsonart.co.uk for more information.