Polyphemus on the Thames Barrier



We next encounter the group downstream of the Thames Barrier. Despite the structure having been raised to its maximum height, the river has over-topped it and in the distance Canary Wharf, the Millennium Dome and recent housing developments are all flooded. A disorientated northern bottlenose whale circles behind the punt. The consumer goods the carousers bought have been jettisoned, but the young men are in triumphal mood, aggressively gesturing towards an injured figure on the barrier. In its form and theme the picture refers us to JMW Turner's painting 'Ulysses deriding Polyphemus - Homer's Odyssey', which can be seen in the National Gallery, London.