Red October – A Visual Diary

In recent weeks I have been doing my usual thing of walking around with a camera and photographing whatever catches my eye as well as developing and editing several ongoing photographic projects. Looking through the photographs I’ve taken this month I was struck by one of the themes that came through – the dominance of the colour red. Weirdly I realised that exactly this time last year I published a blog on the theme of red photographs called Red Flow. The coincidence is not at all conscious, but is as if I am seasonally wired to gravitate towards intense red hues at this time of year. Whereas last year’s post collated a series of red flowing images selected from several years of work, the red images in this blog were all taken in October 2020.

On October 1st I took a photo featuring a red London Tour bus. I was struck by the sight of a un upright, stationary man, in his protective mask and gloves, standing in the midst of an illusory, iconic London cityscape. He is sandwiched between a red telephone box and The Gherkin, with The London Eye like an arc of a rainbow overhead:

On the 4th October – a wet, miserable day – I photographed the following street abstract in Highgate Road. The image, which is now also featured in my series Persian Kentish Town, includes layers of red-hued Oriental rugs which can be seen behind the raindrop splattered window:

Next a couple of very different images taken three days later. Firstly a stunning long red wall of autumn leaves seen in Hampstead:

The image below is a detail of a billboard in Chalk Farm. I have previously shot this billboard on several occasions; the first time – a couple of months ago – the upper lip had been graffitied with a Hitler moustache. A few weeks later I notice the billboard had been cleaned and the graffiti erased. In October I discovered the addition of newly penned male genitalia:

The following day, October 8th, I was struck by this dramatic still life as I looked down on exiting Tottenham Court Road underground Station:

And later that afternoon, on my way to the British Museum I noticed a red telephone box covered in raindrops with tongue in cheek graffiti, suggesting it was a public toilet, with the additional text please wash your hands. Indeed, during the pandemic public toilets were often closed and many have not yet reopened. Some people in desperation may have used these booths as an alternative . I have to admit I also like the yellow intrusion of the Cadburys Flake dessert packaging lid at the bottom as it seems to add to the Britishness of it all :

Taken on 9th October – the image below is one from a series of window displays juxtaposed with trees and reflections. The original digital display features constantly flowing artwork by South African artist Meleko Mokgosi at Flannels fashion store on Oxford Street:

A couple of days later on my way to a choir rehearsal in Highgate Woods I look down and see a still life comprised of an objet trouvé – a girl’s red headband complete with red satin bow glowing on the dark autumnal earth:

Last week I went to see the Andy Warhol exhibition at the Tate Modern. On exiting the show I saw a poster for the exhibition juxtaposed with some social distancing security paraphernalia:

Yesterday was another dull, grey day and I went in search of colour in Regents Park, which I hadn’t visited for months. Here are three of the photographs I took:

Firstly a detail of the Triton water fountain – I was drawn to the Medusa-like hair of one of the mermaids. The backdrop of intense leaves made me feel that I was witnessing Autumn in Kyoto rather than London!

It had been raining so I was wearing my waterproof, red rose-embroidered Dr. Martens boots. Here I am looking down, standing on fallen leaves and carefully avoiding stepping on the purple flower:

My final image is from the park’s Queen Mary Rose Garden. Though out of season there were still some roses in bloom. A luxurious red rose stands above a carpet of fallen petals:


Meleko Mokgosi

Persian Kentish Town

Red Flow blog

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.