Ed Gray Art





Noon by HogathNoon at Charing Cross /Oxford Street was more lively.

There is a Huguenot Church in the Hogarth engraving to the right of the picture. There is still a Huguenot Church in Soho Square. However, looking towards St Giles Church it would need to appear on the left side of the engraving. Perhaps the fact that Hogarth's images may have been reversed during the printing process could help to explain this.

Hogarth depicts the Hugenots leaving the church dressed in the finery of what we would call 'fashion victims'. This satirical portrayal even extends to the small child on the right -as he is clearly all too aware himself. On the right hand side food and sex are indulged in whilst street children forage for wasted food. The Church of St Giles looks modest by comparison, almost forgotten by all apart from Hogarth and us.

Walking along Oxford Street it is easy to see the power of fashion today, the cathedral-like spaces we shop in, the huge hoardings for Versace and Dolce and Gabbana (the saints of the fashion industry). And yet there was a crossover here, the models on the billboards seemed rapturous and harmonious as if stoned on our pre-supposed adulation of their status. But they still seemed to me to possess a kind of sacredness. The models huge faces seem to have the calm self-knowledge of giant Buddhist statues. The Hare Krishnas who came dancing blissfully towards me represent non-fashion and yet even they do not look out of place here in the Mecca of Oxford street. They also express the ever-changing nature of religious devotion in London.

In amongst all the religion, food, sex and fashion, St Giles still points its spire skywards.

Covent Garden


Charing Cross