Capturing the Clifton Suspension Bridge Through Art - a contribution from freelance writer Lucy Jackson

Home > Capturing the Clifton Suspension Bridge Through Art - a contribution from freelance writer Lucy Jackson


Did you know that more than 65,000 people visit the beloved Clifton Suspension Bridge every year?  Amongst these visitors are countless filmmakers, painters, illustrators, and photographers who draw inspiration from the world-renowned structure. Apart from movies such as The Truth About Love and The Inbetweeners 2 affording viewers glimpses of their favorite bridge, artwork depicting the famous bridge has been used to not only create beautiful wall art but greeting cards, calendars, brochures, books, magazine covers and travel posters as well.  If you are a creative spirit there are no limits to the number of ways you can captivate the surreal beauty of the bridge which was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel in 1836.  You simply have to let yourself be guided by the sheer brilliance of one of the world’s most impressive architectural wonders.

A modern take on the clasic vintage poster

A modern take on the classic vintage poster by artist Peter McDermott is available from the Visitor Centre shop.

Travel Posters are making a comeback
Travel posters used to be all the rage back in the 1940s and 50s and are currently undergoing an insurgency in popularity, adorning everything from executive offices and conference rooms to baby nurseries and living areas. One of the first travel posters depicting the Clifton Suspension Bridge was created for the British Railways by LA Wilcox around 1950. Renowned Portsmouth artist Dave Thomson also created a travel poster depicting the bridge more recently, albeit in a more contemporary style. Over the years travel posters have varied in style, is mostly influenced by the predominant art trends of the time, including Art Nouveau and Art Deco. As a modern-day artist, you basically have complete freedom over the design and style of your travel poster. While many travel poster artists draw inspiration from the artwork of their peers, pop culture and, in particular, music and film styles remain the contemporary motivators behind brilliant art pieces.

A picture is worth a thousand words
When you do a Google search of the Clifton Suspension Bridge you are inundated with hundreds if not thousands of photos of depicting various skill levels.  Photography is one of few art forms that can be enjoyed by anyone with a camera, regardless of whether it is a state-of-the-art DSLR or one on a relatively cheap smartphone. A good eye, coupled with a healthy dose of creativity can render exceptional photographs, regardless of the equipment used.  There are a number of great angles to shoot the bridge from including from the Cumberland Bason side or even looking straight onto the bridge towards Clifton. If you are a fan of the work of photographers such as Alin Ciortea and Andrew Prokos you might want to experiment with moving black and white photography or, alternatively, simply be led by your mood on the day.
The Clifton Suspension Bridge has been the inspiration behind beautiful works of art for centuries and will continue to be one for many more to come. If you are ever fortunate enough to find yourself in Bristol, be sure to pick up your camera or sketch pad and take advantage of the creative inspiration lurking around one of the world’s most beloved structures.

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