Here it is, y'all. The sculpture installation I learned about in an e-mail the day before leaving Portland for the tour! So excited to get to see this in person! And to know what it was, because I heard a woman with a British accent, her voice rising in alarm, say to the man with her as they stood staring at it: What is that? Destruction! From The Independent Web site: British artist Alex Chinneck has undertaken a mammoth new artwork in Covent Garden, London, collaborating with builders, engineers, robots and more to make it look like the Market Building in the piazza is drifting up into the sky.
The effect, which can be seen not just from a specific angle but all sides, was achieved using digital carving and four-tonne counterweights.
Entitled 'Take my lightning but don't steal my thunder', the sculpture mimics the Market Building behind it, its broken columns making it look as though the 184-year-old building is levitating in mid-air.
Over 100 people worked on the artwork, including structural engineers, carpenters, carvers, set builders, scenery painters, water jet cutters and a robot, with 14 tonnes of steel being used and a tonne of paint.
"Architecture is a brilliant canvas for creative exploration and distortion because it surrounds and contains us," Chinneck commented.
If you've spotted any other mind-bending, large-scale architectural illusions around London, chances are they are also his work.
Chinneck previously erected a "sliding house" in Margate and an upside down building in Southwark.
His next project is a full-size house made from 7500 wax bricks that will melt over 30 days.
Of the Covent Garden installation's title he said: "The thunder and lightning comes from the two separated sections of the building - they are forever together but always apart.
"I also liked how the silhouette of the cracked architecture shared the aesthetic of a lightning bolt. the narrative of the installation has a cataclysmic feel and thunder and lightning typically accompany such a theatrical scenario.
"I incorporated the saying ‘steal my thunder’ as I like to include common expressions in my titles to lend them a pleasing familiarity.
"The hovering section suggests as though it is floating away but the dense stone base feels extremely grounded, hence the request take one but leave the other."
The artwork will be in the East Piazza until 24 October.
Part of the scene inside the Market Building at Covent Garden. I promise, the woman in the lower right corner of the photo who appears to be singing along with the string quartet in the parallel corner is not, I repeat, not singing--she's yawning.
Here's a close-up of the musicians, known as Classycool. I bought their CD, The String Quartet Evolved.
Enticing words, savoury crepes, however you spell savory. We sat outside while I ate my lunch. Juliet decided to find her lunch elsewhere, a bit later on.
My savoury crepe, the Italian Job, after I cut it open to reveal goat’s cheese, fresh pesto, sunblushed tomatoes, rocket. Rocket? The greens, also known as arugula. Perfectly textured crepe, fabulously fresh ingredients inside it. Every single bite, satisfying as to bring a smile to my face. I knew once I had finished it that I'd be fine until dinner later that evening. Just fine for my soon-to-start walk from Covent Garden to the Royal Courts of Justice, too.