What began as a wish to recall through the act of drawing a dear landscape, that of the River Thames at Henley, soon transformed itself into a study of what might be termed the outer limits of perspective projection. Such a development was perhaps inevitable given the presence of the regatta course1 and an aedicule2 built in 1791 on an islet in the river. In order to lay out the course much of the islet had had to be removed. In my reinvention of the landscape the temple would also have had to be relocated so that the focus of its domed roof would be coincident with the vanishing point of the perspective view of the course seen from the finish line.
The later focus on perspective projection resulted in drawings exploring distortion and infinity; also what happens if one moves from the observer point into the projection along the center of vision.
1. The regatta course is 6930 ft. long and 80 ft. wide. The course is lined by white painted temporary booms and posts forming a grid. I altered the number of posts used to number 24, including the start and finish line posts; thus creating 23 equally spaced intervals between them. Thus the course took on the appearance of a textbook representation of perspectival foreshortening.
2 Built by James Wyatt in 1771 as a fishing lodge, the aedicule comprised a single room structure surmounted by a columnar drum and dome. A female statue, supposedly of Mother Thames (according to my family), had been placed within the drum. In my ever so slight readjustment of its proportions the right eye of the statue is coincident with the center point of the dome.
Published on Mar 27, 2015
Lecture date: 1987-05-05 Introduced by Peter Cook, Mike Webb discusses his recent project in relation to concepts of infinity and the horizon, views and mathematical relationships. The lecture coincides with an exhibition of Webb's drawings on display in the AA Exhibition Gallery. NB: Sound loss whenever Mike Webb moves from microphone. (And he does that even today. This is why his partner, Nancy Wozniak, collaborates on the presentation by keeping him close to the mic and pressing the blue button for him).
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