|Isabelle Laliberté, Millennium Mills|
As James said in his post below, it's hard to put your finger on the appeal of places like Millennium Mills: a vast area of broken stone and glass, weeds, graffiti, and emptiness. Perhaps because they are modern-day ruins, if that isn't an oxymoron. Like visiting Rome for example; it's startling to come upon huge sections of a city that were so obviously important and full of life at one point, now abandoned and crumbling, but with an added shock value that rather than belonging to a distant bygone age, it has occurred within our own lifetimes - the Royal Victoria Docks only finally closed in 1981.
Originally built in 1905, Millennium Mills was partially destroyed first by the infamous "Silvertown Explosion" of a munitions factory in the First World War, 1917, and then again in the Second World War, by German bombing. As you can just make out in my sketch above, the building was rebuilt both times - on the left in 1954, and on the right it says 1933. What attracted me to drawing it was that the building was now such a wreck - the company didn't really have much luck, did it?
Olha Pryymak, sketchbook pages
|Sue Pownall, Powerful|
|Olha Pryymak, sketchbook pages|
|BBC "Ashes to Ashes" - silo D in the background|
|The area is not only popular with us sketchers and the location scouts for film and tv, but with "urban explorers", who are, I suppose, similar to urban sketchers but without the pencils, (and with a slightly more reckless attitude to going into places they're not supposed to go) - a quick Google reveals a wealth of photos from inside, on top of and around the Silvertown site that are well worth a look.|
|Isabelle Laliberté, Grain Silo D|
|Sue Pownall, Silo D|
|Nathan Brenville, Weird Dome Thing|