Beyond the mallet and the chisel

Above: Regent St Colonnade c1825

Following a day’s training at Regent’s University, I left the building and regained the Outer Circle of The Regent’s Park. Instead of retracing my steps to Baker Street Station, I turned left towards Regent’s Park Station. From here it’s a stone’s throw to Portland Place, and the beginning of the great thoroughfare developed by John Nash in the early nineteenth century in his role as the Prince Regent’s favourite architect. The route ran south via Regent Street to the site of Carlton House, the prince’s residence. It was the era of the Picturesque, a concept largely created by the Rev William Gilpin, artist and writer. A guiding principle was “accidental irregularity “. Nash made a virtue of necessity and, where there were kinks in the royal route, disguised them with the Quadrant Piccadilly and All Souls, Langham Place.

Gilpin wrote of depicting architecture in a painting : “Should we wish to give it picturesque beauty, we must use the mallet instead of the chisel; we must beat down one half of it, deface the other, and throw the mutilated members around in heaps.”

Today’s trainer offered the concept of the neuro-idealised self. The context brings to mind the lines of Yeats:

“But I, being poor, have only my dreams;

I have spread my dreams under your feet;

Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.”

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