Michael Palin opens outsize photo exhibition
Actor and writer Michael Palin was in Bath today to launch a new street exhibition of Britain’s natural and human landscapes.
The television presenter, who is also well known for his travel documentaries, was in Kingston Parade to open the free street gallery which includes 100 aerial photographs of the UK, as well as a big walk-on map.
As president of the Royal Geographical Society (RGS), which jointly created the Britain from the Air exhibition along with specialist street gallery firm Wecommunic8 and the Ordnance Survey, he said he was delighted to be see it come to fruition.
He said: “It is not just about displaying photos, it is about putting what you are seeing in the context of geography and, for someone who loves geography, for me it has got absolutely everything.
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“I remember from quite a young age I was interested in geography and from quite early I just wanted to travel when I saw photos of distant places.
“I can understand the impact of these photos and they are remarkably striking pictures and I really do hope it will encourage people who want to go and see these places to do it as they don’t have to go far.”
He added: “You can just learn so much about this fairly small country of ours.”
The exhibition has been brought to the city as a follow-up to last year’s Earth from the Air exhibition, which was also coordinated by Wecommunic8.
The display which will be illuminated at night will be in the city centre until February.
Director of the RGS Rita Gardner hopes the free event will encourage the enjoyment and exploration of Britain’s great outdoors.
She said: “A unique value in the exhibition lies in its ability to help everyone to appreciate Britain and understand more about how natural forces and people have shared its landscapes for millennia.
“As people take in this view of Britain as they’ve never seen it before, we hope it will inspire them to get out and about around the country and see for themselves the wonders of our islands.”
Vanessa Lawrence, director general and chief executive of the Ordnance Survey, added: “Ordnance Survey is delighted to support Britain from the Air. The walk-on map will give visitors a chance to explore their way around Britain and to chart the stunning locations brought to life in the aerial photographs.”
The pictures are located throughout the city centre, in Kingston Parade, Abbey Church Yard and Union Street.
Mr Palin was also in the city to give a talk at Bath Abbey called Around the World in 20 Years.
He has visited Bath a number of times in the past, as his sister used to live in Miles Buildings.
He said: “I first came for the day from Oxford and I was quite stunned by it.
“I have never been in a city of this size where every building was beautiful and it is a very walkable city.
“I was born in Sheffield which is a little bit rougher so Bath did seem like a real jewel in the country.”
He encouraged people to come to Bath to do their Christmas shopping.
He added: “It is often the best way of doing Christmas shopping. Instead of walking along Oxford Street in London wondering where to go, come up and do it in Bath.
“I can’t go far without having to have a look in a shop.
“I can do everything here and it is a good size city with an enormous amount of shopping.”