This is something that you don’t come across very often – a golden man sitting seemingly suspended in mid air. When I saw him at first there were so many people surrounding him I wondered if I’d be able to get a great shot of him seemingly suspended in mid air. I almost didn’t take the shot. Patience paid off however and after shifting position with my camera at the ready I took the shot. I’m glad I captured many of the people who were also confused to how this golden man seemed to be achieving the impossible (I will reveal all later!). I must say though the two children to the right of the picture don’t look too bothered. Perhaps they’ve already worked it out?
The eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed the presence of a red telephone box to the right, so you’ve probably guessed this was taken in London, England, and you’d be right! If you live in London you’ve most likely already recognised this as Covent Garden. The building you can see in the background is one of the entrances to the Covent Garden Market. The market has been around since the 1650s, and now is a shopping centre with cafes, pubs, small retail shops and craft markets.
I took this art print Illusion in Covent Garden during a recent visit back home. I can’t visit London without at least one or two trips around Covent Garden; particularly the central square where you can see plenty of street performers. I used to work right next to the Piazza which is always buzzing with activity and things to see, especially in the summer, where I used to sit by the cobblestones and enjoy a jacket potato with lots of sweet corn, sour cream and chives. I love the living statues – I can’t imagine how tough it must be to stand still for hours on end with only the slightest movements.
If you’re a history buff, you’ll probably want to know why this area is called Covent Garden. Well, apparently it was once the site of a walled garden owned by the Benedictine monks of the Abbey of St Peter in Westminster. A document, dated around 1250, refers to it as “the garden of the Abbot and Convent (sic) of Westminster” – hence the name Covent Garden.
Now, I’m going to reveal how this Illusion in Covent Garden aka this trick is done, so if you don’t want to know, look away now! It’s an old illusion first performed by Indian street performers. You see the stick the man is holding? It’s attached to a very strong metal rod that runs up the man’s arm, down his back and is attached to, of all things, a seat! The carpet beneath the man hides a flat stand that supports his weight. It seems rather magical, but in fact all the man is doing is sitting down! He certainly seems to have fooled a lot of people though. Did you manage to work it out?