Cranes loom over the docks, modern day dinosaurs munching on the leftovers of the surrounding houses. Huge presences that dominate a landscape, but yet speak of famine and austerity. These are animals of a bygone day that have lost their purpose and drive, now they tower and rust on the horizon. Ships and boats drift by them, transport dinghies and overnight booze cruises, almost embarrassed to make eye contact.
There is the social reality, that jobs and society have moved away from these monuments of industry; but there they stand, held together through history and creating an aesthetic of their own. These are horizon sculptures that rise from waste ground where once stock and goods were stored. They speak to the sky and to each other, a show for those from afar who use them to negotiate the space between ground and sky.
In this they strive upwards like famous buildings around the world: monuments to religion, to commerce, to art and to civic society - oh, and to entertainment. These great symbols of weight, statements of longevity (however hubristic), and icons of society point to a desire to mediate the natural world, to find our space along the horizon where we can find our place between the higher and lower worlds.
Here caught between what we cannot reach (or know), and what lies beneath our feet, humanity seeks to shape a world around it, hoping for a step ladder to the unknown, and a platform to avoid wet feet. We are victims of our own insecurity believing, but in place of a vengeful god, we find our own ways to tear down or subvert our efforts. We use slump and war, revolution and re- branding, poverty and fanaticism; through all these we find ways to crack our mirrors and look at the distortions that stare back at us.
These cranes remain as aspirations to build new pathways, to bring people together. They hold their heads up against embarrassed eyes, they had noble purpose, and show it for all to see.