Monday, 21 September 2015



Photograph by courtesy of Sheila Needham
Take a sunny but chilly Sunday afternoon. Add a couple of young grandsons and mention a beach - for that is what the Thames near Vauxhall Bridge is turned into twice every 24 hours. Even more, mention the prospect of ice cream and cake at the splendid Members' Restaurant at the top of Tate Britain, and the deal is done.

The Rising Tide is an underwater sculpture  concealed and revealed by the daily ebb and flow of the tide on the Vauxhall foreshore. Four proud horses and riders highlight the role of the Thames as 'the lifeblood of London', an evolving centre for culture, industry, commerce and much, much more.

The artist is a qualified diving instructor and underwater naturalist. He is also an award-winning underwater photographer, famous for his dramatic images capturing the effect of the ocean on his sculptures. He created the world's first underwater sculpture park off the West Coast of Granada, listed as one of the top Wonders of the World by National Geographic. His work not only pioneers examples of marine conservation but encourages environmental awareness and an appreciation of the breath-taking beauty of the underwater world.

Meanwhile back at Vauxhall people of all ages stand on the muddy beach and ponder. Many will have seen the horses before from the tops of red double-decker buses passing over the bridge: horses  'drowning' at high tide as the water laps over their heads, but perking up and poking their heads above the tide as the water recedes. And then there is all that wet sand to play in, filling your crocks with sludge. And the splash of stones as they hit pools and scatter lumps of mud in all directions. And the terrible thought that if you stayed there long enough nothing would stop the tide making you invisible for ever.

Do take a look at
and be amazed.

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