That’s where Wimpole’s real treats are to be found; at least to my eye.
Perhaps it was the conditions outside, but I think the design of the interior should claim the credit, because this building had some of the most gorgeous light that I’ve encountered since the nude and lingerie shoot in Northumberland a couple of years back.
Of course, it’s one thing to have the light, but you need to have the subject matter too and here you’re spoilt for choice. The great pity was that I didn’t have tong to spend here due to the demands of my journey, but even at a gallop through the rooms I was in my element as I moved from one grand chamber to the next.
The last monochrome image is worth viewing at full size to see if you can spot one of the features of this building. The Georgian obsession with symmetry continued to the interior, so the pair of doors you see at the far end of the room are matched by an identical pair just behind the spot where I shot from… and they are all fake. Beautifully painted in midnight blue and gold, including the door handles, they are solid wall. Look slightly to the left of the far door however and you’ll see a faint outline of the real, but carefully hidden door.
Apart from the multitude of windows, the light trickles down from skylights and staircases giving a wonderful sculptural effect to walls rich with mouldings and soft colours.
In such an environment you can virtually shoot anything and make it look interesting.
So I did!
Virginia Woolf was of course talking of the thoroughfare in London when she wrote:
when the world seems tumbling to ruin, and civilisation rocks on its foundations, one has only to go to Wimpole Street…
I feel that the rooms here could have the same effect; it’s not everyday that I find a curtain tie-back an object of fascination but how could you not love the way the highlights fade into Caravaggian abyss?