A disused power station glimpsed through a pair of hands holding molecules. The sculpture of the giant hands emerging from the ground to cradle the molecules is located near Ramsgate in the English county of Kent.
Called “Hands and Molecules”, it was created by sculptor David Barnes, who received a diploma in ceramics at the Kent Institute of Art and Design in 1977, before moving to Canada in 2006, where he continues to work and teach in the foothills of the Rocky mountains.
The contemporary sculpture was fund by the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, and unveiled in June 2000 to mark the opening of the Thanet section of the National Cycle Network.
Originally a coal-fired, the distant power station, built near Sandwich in 1958 was converted to burn oil in summer 1971, then a proprietary oil and water emulsion called Orimulsion imported from Venezuela. Following environmental concerns however, the station ceased generating electricity in 1996 and the distinctive towers demolished in 2012.
The photograph was captured a year before the towers were flattened while I was in Ramsgate researching my dad’s childhood in Ramsgate for my book “Flights of Fantasy”. It was March, very cold, very grey and very wintry, but the day concluded with a dramatic sunset – and happily I was on the spot to spend a few minutes shooting the sculpture.
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