SIMON BUTTERWORTH

RED ROAD III

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The artist

Born in Scotland, Simon Butterworth studied classical music at the Royal Academy of Music in London. As a professional clarinettist, he was able to play for international orchestras and musical ensembles, over the course of three decades and in the four corners of the globe, notably performing at the BBC Promenade concerts at the Royal Albert Hall in London. His extensive travel thus provided occasions for him to discover the world – a world that he progressively wished to document through photography. Since 2002, his interest in architecture, urban landscapes and encounters has never waned, and his work has also received numerous awards: a bronze medal for the Prix de la Photographie in Paris in 2012, an Epson International Panoramic Photography Award two years later, followed by a Sony World Photography Award in the landscape category in 2015. The influence of music can also be felt in his work, through the omnipresence of rhythmical elements, governing highly structured compositions from a formal perspective.  ... See more See less

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About the artwork

This series of photographs documents the failure of a social engineering experiment, stemming from a post-war rehousing plan designed for the residents of overpopulated slums. Inspired by Le Corbusier?s architecture, the 8 large blocks of the residential plan for a major complex nicknamed Red Road in Glasgow, were completed in the mid-sixties. With a capacity of 4700 people, they were considered at the time to be the tallest residential structures in Europe. Unfortunately their steel construction was coated with a large quantity of asbestos. In the seventies, the Red Road towers also lost their reputation owing to an increase in criminal activity, to the extent that in 2005, the decision was finally made to demolish them.

Artwork details

Date photograph was taken

17 July 2015

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