P.F.White

A Window: Kennington


A Window: Kennington (detail).
May 7th, 1997.

If you had lived here on Thursday 1st of May 1997, you might have stayed awake most of the night, listening to the radio as the votes were declared. When it became clear that the result was certain, you may have slept for an hour or two, and then awoken to a morning that felt like high summer. You could have turned the television on and seen the leader walking out into the sunlight to the applause of party workers: they were all very close, about a mile north of you. If you had looked out of this window you would have seen the same clear sky that they saw and you might have joined them in thinking it was something more than just a new dawn that had broken.

A glorious, bright, morning. To clear your head you might have decided to walk to your meeting. You would have crossed the river at Lambeth Bridge, walked in the shade of the Palace of Westminster, crossed Parliament Square, and then up the eastern edge of St James's Park. You might have been surprised by how quiet everything was and how intense the blue dome of the sky seemed. Two large removal vans, parked on the south of Horse Guards Parade, at the back of No. 10, looked a little unusual but everything else appeared as if nothing much had changed. As you crossed The Mall you might have noticed that a few people, two of them photographers, were standing, waiting. As they spoke their eyes tracked toward the shadowed tarmac under Admiralty Arch.

"Is something going to happen?"

"Yes, Blair should be coming past any minute now, to go to the Palace."

You might have waited to get a glimpse of this small part of one moment in history, this new hero. But the sun was hot and you had an appointment. The face had already flashed past you a hundred times on the other side of the glass screen of the television, so you would probably have walked on. This morning had been eighteen years coming and there would be at least five more years to see the substance of its meaning.

Five days later, the new dawn already faded into memory, you might have looked out of this same window and watched as two o'clock in the afternoon started to look like night. The young, pale bronze sycamore leaves began to shiver and wilt. Snow came, cherry blossom bowed down, wreathed in a slush of wet ice. And then rain, washing the streets and buildings to a hard, determined, grey.


A Window: Kennington. (detail).
May 7th, 1997.

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These pages show images and texts from the the work of the photographer P.F.WHITE (Peter Frankland White). ACTIVE: 196Os to the present. LOCATION: Europe (United Kingdom). SUBJECTS: vision, perception, location, time(s), class, power, rhilopia. STYLE: exploratory, aggregative, aleatory, attentive, punctum averse.

All images and texts (except where otherwise acknowledged) are © Peter Frankland White, , and may not be reproduced in any form without written consent. Notes on Privacy, Rights, Ethics and Consent. Page design by Allpicture. Text consultant: Kim Crowder.