Postcards from the Future

By Matt Yelland, Picture Manager © Robert Graves and Didier Madoc-Jones. Aerial photograph by Jason Hawkes
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London As Venice

 

Every Year spring tides surge through the Thames Barrier, making London the new Venice. This image shows  the impact of a 7.2 metre flooding, the level required to breach the Thames Barrier.        

Climate change is central to our future. It will affect every aspect of the city, from buildings and public spaces to the way we live and work. What impact will climate change have?

Postcards From The Future is concerned with taking ideas and projections and juxtaposing them with contemporary visual images. This creates surprising, contradictory concepts that challenge our daily preconceptions of the world around us.

Created by Robert Graves and Didier Madoc-Jones the work is based upon views of cities which are transformed from the familiar to the startling, using the visual language of climate change to create provocative image

To view more stunning images from this collection and others visit:  http://www.postcardsfromthefuture.com/   

 

 

 

© Robert Graves and Didier Madoc-Jones
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Whitehall Tornado

This epic storm is of filmic proportions as life mimics Hollywood. Onlookers run for their lives as an enormous tornado rips up Whitehall. Extreme weather conditions become a regular feature of life in the UK.

© Robert Graves and Didier Madoc-Jones
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The Mall – Royal Power

That archetypical British driveway The Mall, has become a wind-farm. Wind turbines tower over flags, as the desperate quest for renewable energy takes precedence over any remaining notions of Britishness. Cars? Now what on earth were they?

Wind farms are usually associated with bleak moors, distant hillsides or faraway patches of sea. But will we see more in our own back yards, even royal ones?

 

© Robert Graves and Didier Madoc-Jones. Aerial photograph by Jason Hawkes
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Kew Nuclear Power Station

The sunset over Kew Gardens catches London’s brand new nuclear power station on the banks of the Thames. Nuclear power is now widely accepted as the only viable alternative to fossil fuels.

 

© Robert Graves and Didier Madoc-Jones
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Glacial Thames

As the Arctic warms up, the Gulf Stream starts to slow and temperatures in the UK plummet. Winters become unbearably harsh. Never mind hell freezing over, the Thames does it every winter. When the thaw comes, the city floods - a tediously predictable event for long-suffering Londoners.

The frozen Thames is both romantic and frightening. It happened regularly in the 16th century when painters recorded the delightful scenes. But this time long-term ice is building up.

© Robert Graves and Didier Madoc-Jones
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Parliament Square Paddy Fields

This view across Parliament Square shows paddy fields running up to the walls of the Palace of Westminster. The land that once housed political protest is now part of the city’s food production effort.

In this scenario London has adapted to rising water tables in radical ways. Managed flooding is now the name of the game, as is self-sufficiency in food. Central London is a network of rice paddies – and Londoners’ diet is largely rice-based.

© Robert Graves and Didier Madoc-Jones
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Piccadilly Circus Water Lilies

London’s busiest urban hub becomes a haven of calm as water levels rise ever higher. Water lilies, fish and wind turbines drift quietly in the breeze.

© Robert Graves and Didier Madoc-Jones. Aerial photograph by Jason Hawkes
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Buckingham Palace Shanty

The climate refugee crisis reaches epidemic proportions. The vast shanty town that stretches across London’s centre leaves historic buildings marooned, including Buckingham Palace.

 

© Robert Graves and Didier Madoc-Jones
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Hyde Park Palm Oil

London’s open spaces resemble tropical plantations. The cost of food production is rising and cultivatable land is becoming scarce. More and more of London’s parks and green spaces are given over to industrial-scale agriculture. Palm oil is harvested in Hyde Park to meet our changing energy needs.

The Hyde Park Hilton was designed as an urban landmark but does not look out of place as a tropical resort hotel.

© Robert Graves and Didier Madoc-Jones
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Camel Guards Parade

Traditional rituals have altered beyond recognition, along with the climate. Here, on Horse Guards Parade, horses have been replaced by camels - animals that can withstand the heat of the parade ground. The change was controversial but the London Tourist Board argued strongly in favour. Tourism remains important for London's economy.

 

© Robert Graves and Didier Madoc-Jones. Aerial photograph by Jason Hawkes
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Skating at Tower Bridge

As the Gulf Stream slows a mini ice-age brings temporary relief to heat-weary Londoners. Winter skating becomes London's most popular sport and Tower Bridge is a favourite spot.

The scene harks back to the 17th century when artists loved to paint London's Frost Fairs. Then, the Thames froze over because the river flowed sluggishly. Now, the river flows quickly but every winter the temperature falls to new lows.

© Robert Graves and Didier Madoc-Jones
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St Paul’s Monkeys

Where once gargoyles would sit on the walls of venerated buildings, St Paul’s Cathedral is now host to a new breed of tropical immigrants. Monkeys enjoying views of the flooded Thames, reminiscent of their equatorial days, feeding on some of the capital’s newly fashionable staple foods.

© Robert Graves and Didier Madoc-Jones. Aerial photograph by Jason Hawkes
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Thames Tidal Power

The river remains a focus of power generation, just as it was for the great coal-powered power stations of old. Around the old Thames Barrier a number of new tidal power stations are using the tidal flows up and down the Thames to generate electricity for thousands of London businesses and homes.

© Robert Graves and Didier Madoc-Jones
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The Gherkin

The iconic City office tower is now high-rise housing. Originally converted into luxury flats, the block soon slid down the social scale to become a high-density, multi-occupation tower block. The Gherkin now worries the authorities as a potential slum.

Refugees from equatorial lands have moved north in search of food. They make their homes in the buildings that once drove world finance - before the collapse of the global economy.

© Robert Graves and Didier Madoc-Jones
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Trafalgar Square Shanty

Nelson looks down on a shanty town of climate refugees. As the equatorial belt becomes uninhabitable, so people are driven north in search of food and security. People settle wherever they can and many reach London.

This is the political dilemma of the day for all European countries. The numbers are overwhelming. London’s strategy is to cluster the new arrivals in the historic centre, rather than spread them through the suburbs, where most Londoners now live.