Tuesday, May 24, 2011

On Pylons

Sun behind pylon
Striding across the landscape, electricity pylons are one of the most visible features of Cliffe Marshes and therefore Green on the Horizon.   The structures are more prominent than the gates, disused workings, or our destination Cliffe Fort, they are visible in nearly every shot, they find their way into the very fabric of the film, mentioned or implicated in the voice over: "...sun behind pylon...", "...static overhead...", "...electricity in the stream...",  forming a framework for choreographed rolling around movement, and so on...

Their aesthetic appeal is as great aloof public found sculptural objects, literally carrying a great invisible power, aerial ley-lines rooted to the ground and yet unscalable, emitting the low hum of electricity like some gigantic electric aeolian harp.

Pylons come in various designs, the ones populating Cliffe Marshes would appear to be of the L2 and L6 type.

Pylons have become as much a part of the British rural landscape as any ostensibly 'natural' feature. The current electricity pylons, first chosen in 1929, are designed to be strong against high winds and capable of carrying the load and tension of cables. The name 'pylon' comes from their basic shape, an obelisk-like structure which tapers toward the top.

There are plans afoot to redesign pylons, a move that could have the most significant impact on the appearance of the British landscape since the enclosure.

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