Artistic images of women posing nude for legendary photography pioneer Eadweard Muybridge could soon become a familiar sight along Kingston’s riverside.
The company behind the new Riverside Kingston restaurant development, next to Kingston Bridge, has announced bold plans to commemorate one of the town’s most famous sons by emblazoning its building with stills from his Human Figures in Motion project, carried out in the mid 1880s.
The oversized black and white photographs would greet visitors coming into town from Richmond over Kingston Bridge, as well as those travelling along the Thames.
Developers Canadian and Portland Estates hope that in time, the projection will become as recognisable a landmark as David Mach’s Out Of Order phone box sculpture in Old London Road.
Kingston-born Eadweard Muybridge broke new ground in photography
Greg Miles, head of promotions and animation at Canadian and Portland Estates, said: "Eadweard Muybridge was born and died in Kingston and became a pioneer of photography and the moving image.
"His work is internationally recognised and contributed hugely towards the development of film, which has a vast influence over our lives.
"Kingston owns one of the world’s largest collections of Muybridge’s images and we believe this is something Kingston should celebrate and we wanted to honour the beauty and importance of his work on our building.”
Phase one of Riverside Kingston is due to open in April, bringing five popular restaurant chains to the town for the first time – Cote, Busaba Eathai, CAU, Comptoir Libanais and Bill’s.
A sixth unit inside the former Thames Street car park will be called Riverside-edge, and feature six “pop-up” restaurants initially rotating every six months.
A second phase, a complete remodelling of Bishop’s House, is not due to begin for another five years, when the leases of tenants Russell Cooke Solicitors and McClusky’s nightclub expire.
Muybridge is credited with revolutionising still photography through his famous motion sequence technique, which paved the way for motion pictures.
Despite the cultural nod to Kingston’s heritage, Kingston Society chairman Jennifer Butterworth was not impressed by the proposal to beam his work across the Thames.
She said: “What is being proposed will only make bad worse.
“It doesn’t matter if the ladies are nude or not.
“We objected to the Riverside sign [on top of the building] and we object to anything more making this site look like a cinema show.”
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