Standing almost unnoticed next to the Elizabeth line station entrance on Dean Street is a large bronze sculpture that’s remarkably easy to walk past without noticing it’s there.
It’s a sculpture by David Breuer-Weil and was commissioned as the requisite public art contribution for the block of residential flats built above the Dean Street entrance to the Elizabeth line. We’re told that the sculpture refers to the cultural figures that are particularly associated with the Soho area and who have given it a creative and bohemian appeal in the public imagination.
The surface of the bronze is said to be “highly textured with inscriptions and pictograms of many of the prior habitués of Soho ranging from Mozart to Francis Bacon, Elton John, Diana Rigg, Anya Taylor-Joy and beyond.”
I will be honest to say that I can’t see that at all. Admittedly I didn’t peer too closely at it, but even zooming in on photos at home didn’t seem to help find them. Maybe I need new glasses?
Called Reflection for I think fairly obvious reasons when you stand back and look at it from the other side of the road, it was cast in bronze by the Morris Singer Foundry.
Initially, the sculpture was going to be freestanding on the plinth in the middle of the pavement, and much more noticeable, but it was moved to the side of the building after the council expressed concerns about impeeding pedestrians.
The current location though does tend to make it seem practically invisible. On two visits to photograph it, the only time people seemed to notice it was there was when they stopped to figure out what I was pointing my camera at.
I’d not be too surprised if people could walk past it every day for years and never know it was there.
This is a shame, but also a delight as it becomes a bit of a hidden secret to point out to people, who promptly scream that they’ve walked past it every day and never noticed it. And then you can look smug as they admire your ability to notice things.