The photograph of workers enjoying the east London landscape was inspired by “Bathers at Asnieres,” the 1884 impressionist work of Georges Seurat. It was more than the similarity of the riverside locations that inspired Gabie; it was the message behind the classic painting. “Seurat’s artwork was painted when France really embraced being a republic, when it had become acceptable to paint ordinary urban, working-class people with factories in the background,” the artist told the BBC. “Olympic Park is a public park for people, but instead of being a post-industrial landscape, it has big, iconic sporting venues.”
Gabie recruited his subjects by studying the “characters” working to build the park. The final selection included landscape architects, engineers and security guards. He blogged about the difficulties of getting the shot, which was taken in June 2011, calling it a “logistical nightmare.”
Hat tip Tony P.