A strange being made a grand appearance in Grosvenor Gardens, just outside Victoria Station, in May 2013.
Unusual he may be, but the locals are taking it in their stride. Walking, resting and lunching continue as normal.
This visitor is a contemporary outdoor sculpture of Alien, by David Breuer-Weil. Upside down, with its head buried firmly in the ground, this alien stands 5 times the height of a human man.
Breuer-Weil says “I love the idea of the shock of an alien landing in the heart of London and taking everybody by surprise. Every new work of art should be like an alien landing, something sudden and unexpected… I have this idea that extra-terrestrials are completely human, maybe just different in scale, as is the case with my sculpture”.
The artist’s grandfather was a refugee from Vienna, fleeing the Nazis in 1938. Breuer-Weil tells that when his grandfather arrived in England he was labelled an ‘Enemy Alien’ explaining “He always discussed the tragedy of being considered an alien in his new home. I wrote his name, Ernst, on the sculpture in huge letters. The sculpture is more about our sense of belonging than any sci-fi theme, but both ideas are present.”
It has now become a part of the scenery in this pleasant garden. Whenever I am in that part of town, I wander through and pause a while to marvel at the size and detail of this giant sculpture. He is due to stay here until mid-2015.
Update, September 2015: the Alien has moved to the National Trust property of Mottisfont in Hampshire.
Update, January 2018: the Alien is back in London – click here to find out more