Gilbert Bayes – Maker of Images

bayes-at-work-450Whilst at The British Library researching another documentary something caught my eye.

During the 1930s the St Pancras Housing Improvement Society declared war on the Somers Town slums and introduced a progressive rebuild. Cutting edge for its time, the scheme included affordable, rentable housing, a community centre, a nursery school, launderettes and interestingly, works of sculptural art to decorate its courtyards and gardens.

The artist commissioned for this decorative work was Gilbert Bayes. The son of an illustrator, he exhibited at the Royal Academy when just 17. As a sculptor and decorative artist Bayes’ work eventually spanned six decades and he was commissioned extensively, creating gorgeous, often colourful works all over London. His 11 foot high bronze, ceramic clock for example, above the doorway of Selfridge’s department store,  is spectacular!

This film then takes a journey through Bayes’ London, a journey which ends at The Gilbert Bayes Sculpture Gallery in the Victoria and Albert. Using reconstruction, archive photos, voice-overs and location footage the film is presented by Wayne Hemingway, the designer behind the Red or Dead fashion label..