GRID | LOCK, 2020
During the first national lockdown and the successive two, strolling through parks and reservoirs changed from a simple act often born out of boredom to one of the only ways to taste some of the freedom that we gave for granted before the start of the pandemic.
As much as “urban wilderness” goes, the Lea Valley is one of the most interesting walking grounds in London. From the mouth of the Lea where the river encounters the Thames to Waltham Cross, at the northern border of London, there are more than 14 miles of walkable paths where the urban, pastoral and industrial continually overlap and erase each other.
“Wandering along the river path during the lockdown, I began to be drawn towards a familiar sight, the huge electrical pillars and cable that continually cross the course of the river. I say familiar because in my constant search for places and corners reminiscent of the Swiss mountains where I was born, the towering presence of these huge steel structures makes a more recognisable sight than the slow flowing of the canal or the shallow water of the ponds in which they reflect.”
The Lea Valley is in fact, other than a place to call home for many boaters and a myriad of wildlife species, one of the main arteries through which electricity reaches thousands of homes and industries in North - East London. Along its course - once busy with boats connecting the docks with the rest of London and beyond, rise the buzzing pillars.