London … and an unfortunate misinterpretation of a fine piece of street art

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.

The 'Lift' sign is thankfully not part of the piece

The ‘Lift’ sign is thankfully not part of the piece

I think it looks absolutely stunning, and is a vast improvement to the corrugated cowshed that used to stand here before.

GreenParkMuralCloseUp

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.

Is that a partially peeled orange and some discarded onion rings along the bottom there?

Is that a partially peeled orange and some discarded onion rings along the bottom there?

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.

TLT

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1 Response to London … and an unfortunate misinterpretation of a fine piece of street art

  1. Paul Quilter says:

    I must agree about the Green Park station artwork. It took me a while to find the plaque, which I think is very badly located. I am using the station as a start point for one of my London walks, and will certainly mention this very interesting piece of artwork.

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