I love these art interventions, we stayed for quite a while watching people’s reactions.
As we walked down Church St. we passed the usual Big Issue vendors, political activists, buskers and 2 human ‘statues’ entertaining the passing shoppers. At first we thought this was just another one at the junction with Whitechapel but there was quite a crowd standing around waiting for it to move. Eventually someone would buck up the courage to get in close and even touch it at which point they and everyone else finally realised it is actually a real statue.
Reactions varied, most would laugh or smile and appreciate the humour and indeed skill involved in the work, others would look disappointed and mutter about it all being a con. Interestingly, a lot of people still left money at the base of the work, the artist had deliberately not left any collection tin there and was embarrassed to collect the cash even though it’s well deserved in my opinion.
The work is a life-size, realistic fibreglass sculpture of the artist Laurence Payot who has a studio in The Royal Standard. She has been working on this project secretly for a long time and now plans to tour it around different cities. Judging by the reactions on Saturday (it was a one-day only event) it should be a great success.