Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Wake Up and Smell the Porridge; JUST

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Wake Up and Smell the Porridge; JUST

Article excerpt


Some job descriptions you couldn't make up.

Fiona Campbell dreamed of surrealism at work

ALL over London there are individuals whose work in some way includes an element of surrealism.

Earlier this year, we saw the phenomenon of the dreamlike "wobbly bridge testers", when 165 office workers from ARUP had to walk across the Millennium Bridge in step to find its wobbling threshold.

And at this very moment in Highgate - that magical village where fairies still live - furniture designer Walter Castellazzo is building a forest for a small boy to sleep in. The entire room is sculpted out of plaster to resemble a woodland glade, with a wardrobe shaped like a tree trunk.

Meanwhile, Isabel Rocamora is practising "antigravity" at a church in North London. Last year, she and fellow aerial dancer Sophy Griffiths performed on the Tate Modern North balcony.

She describes how "the sun shone deep pink on us from behind St Paul's.

It was so beautiful. We danced, pushing against the wall to defy gravity and achieve a sense of effortless suspension".

Over in the City, a pint of beer is poured across a bench, and Aleconner Grant Simmonds sits on it for one minute. If when he gets up, his ceremonial leather trousers stick to the bench, then the new line of ale is judged "fit and proper".

And on the roof of Buckingham Palace, the Duty Flagman is watching, waiting in readiness to hoist the standard the moment the Queen walks through the gates of Buckingham Palace.

Park Avenue Productions - a gold-mine of surrealism -- is creating colourful public launches. They were responsible for the rainbow lights on the British Airways London Eye last Christmas.

Creative director, Simon Tapping, recounts how he sat near the Eye at 3am, secretly programming the lights by computer. An Italian couple approached him to ask him to take their photo in front of the Eye.

"Which colour would you like it?"

Tapping asked generously. The couple looked at the Eye, which was blue at the time, and replied, "Can we have it white?" Tapping flipped a switch and behind them the London Eye was bathed in white light. Possibly the ultimate tourist's photo. Park Avenue managing director Hugh Carswell recalls the launch of the London Eye on Millennium Eve: "As Tony Blair switched the laser on the Eye, Concorde was scheduled to fly over.

"Because all the phone networks were jammed that evening, I kept a mobile connection open with Concorde for hours before finally shouting the immortal words 'Go Concorde, Go!'" London needs more surrealism. So, for those seeking inspiration, here are five of the most surreal jobs in London The Guerrilla Advertiser The Bear's Porridge Concealer EVERY day the bear's porridge concealer hides the bear's porridge in a different tree trunk. …

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