“Random encounters with the unusual” is a repository for the oddities that me and Mrs J have encountered on our travels, which we find interesting or amusing in some way. Have a look, maybe you will find something interesting or amusing herein.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Soho Body Parts

Walking around London, the observant wanderer may notice the occasional body part, mostly life-size noses, stuck to the sides of buildings. On a recent visit to London, Mrs J and I came across 5 noses and 1 ear, all of which are shown below.

It seems that the majority of these noses were planted by artist Rick Buckley in 1997 as a protest against the rise of the "Big Brother" society (nosiness?). Originally 35 life-size casts of the artist’s nose were appended to landmarks that included the National Gallery, Tate Britain and the South Bank Centre, however it seems only a few now remain.

The existence of the noses has led to the rise of some urban legends. One legend revolves around the nose in Admiralty Arch, which is supposedly modelled on Napoleon's and is placed at a height to enable cavalry troopers to tweak it as they passed by. A more popular urban legend states that there are seven noses in Soho and if you can find all seven you will have eternal wealth.

It’s a shame really that Mrs J and I only found five noses, eternal wealth would have been rather handy!

Nose, Admiralty Arch (not really Soho).

Nose, Dean Street.

Nose, Endell Street.

Nose, Bateman Street.

Nose, Meard Street. 

Unlike the rest of the noses, the Meard Street nose is flesh coloured, much larger in size, and has a different profile. The nose is also high up on the wall, as opposed to being at eye level, like the rest of the noses. This nose is not part of the original batch.

Ear, Floral Street.

Pictures, London (May 2012).

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