I’m hoping to have a Goodcompanionsaround Hull ready in the next few months; digging below the radar in the City of Culture. It has taken me a while to develop the themes, but with help from a Hull exile these themes are becoming clearer. I am excited at the prospect of returning to Hull to take more photos.
In the meantime, a book well worth dipping into is Alain De Botton’s Art of Travel. In the section on ‘Travelling Places’ De Botton uses the poetry of Charles Baudelaire, and the paintings of Edward Hopper, to explore how the service station, the airport, the plane and the train, can free our emotions and imagination.
Of the service station he says it is a place at night 'where the difficulties of communication and the frustrated longing for love seemed to be acknowledged and brutally celebrated by the architecture and the lighting.' (p. 49)
While, on the train, ' the flow of my consciousness is assisted by the possibility of looking out of the window, locking on to an object and following it for a few seconds, until a new coil of thought is ready to form and can unravel without pressure.' (p. 59)
De Botton's exploration of Baudelaire and Hopper to support his interpretation is worth the read in themselves.
The Art of Travel (2014) Alain De Botton. Penguin