I was meeting a dear gentleman friend of mine for lunch in town earlier today, and agreed to meet him at Green Park station. As I arrived ten minutes early, I had time to marvel the artwork cladding the newly built canopy housing the station’s park-side entrance, which also seems to double as a huge communal umbrella (finely illustrated on my arrival when a sudden cloud burst encouraged a crowd of pedestrians to take emergency cover under it).
The work commissioned by London Underground is called Sea Strata by Royal Academician John Maine. The beautiful, smooth, sand-coloured limestone is just a delight to touch, and the sculptures within it represent the prehistoric fossils often found in such stone when first quarried.
I think it looks absolutely stunning, and is a vast improvement to the corrugated cowshed that used to stand here before.
However, the litter that was flying around on the pavement at the time, and the sight of a couple of well known sandwich shops and a burger bar just across the road unfortunately influenced my first interpretation of what the fossil shapes were. At first glance, all I could see were the remains of a kebab and the paraphernalia that often accompanies such fast food items.
As soon as I found the plaque entitling and explaining the piece, I quickly re-educated myself. I wonder though, if the plaque had been at eye-level and in a more visible position (it was hidden away along one side of the canopy at almost ground level) would I have avoided such a philistine interpretation?
Or maybe I am just simply a philistine.