Walking across Trafalgar Square in March sunshine at lunchtime today, I admired, as I always do, the mermen and the dolphins in the fountains. I’m not too fussed by the latest occupant of the empty plinth. Maybe it’ll grow on me. As St Martin’s hoved into sharper focus I could see large puppet like figures in the portico. Something vaguely Mr Punch about them.
They were pretty big. Closer, I took a photo and looked for information.
Nothing. But more figures to left and right.
Curious, and with a few minutes to spare, I decided to go down to crypt and ask what they were about. They were by the lift too.
It turns out they were only installed today. There are lots. I didn’t count, maybe next time. And collectively are called Robert Koenig’s Odyssey. Each figure is 2.5m tall and made from lime trees that grew in his mother’s home village of Dominikowice in South East Poland, and represent his attempt to call up his ancestral ghosts. The trees were silent witnesses to events ‘that shaped the lives of people over the last 100 years’.
They are certainly arresting. Next time I go by, I want to take longer, look more closely and find out more.
Meanwhile, George Washinton, safe on his plinth and patch of soil brought from the US, looks out at Trafalgar Square.