Wenlock and Mandeville – the Mascots that got London walking
If there’s one thing I will miss in London now that our “golden summer of Sport” has come to an end, it’s the pleasurable sight of the Olympic and Paralympic mascots dotted all over the city. The mascots, with their one eye (the design of which is apparently something to do with a camera topped by the light of a London black cab) and curvaceous organically shaped bodies (meant to resemble drops of iron left over from the construction of the Athletics Stadium) have become synonymous with the playful spirit of the games.
Just a few days before the games begun, life-size statues of the twosome began to appear all over London, painted up by a host of different artists to reflect both different characters (soldiers, a business man, a beefeater and so on) and the location where the statues are standing. As artistic creations, they were not always painted with faultless skill, but for imagination, and playful depiction of the theme at hand, these painted statues are surely worth a mention on this art-based blog.
And not only did the statues have some artistic merit. They were also designed to mark out “strolls” around London, pointing the way to points of interest across the city so that tourists and Olympic visitors alike could make the most of our great city while visiting for the games. Ingenious.
Once I had seen one, I wanted to see them all. Of the 80 odd on offer, I got to see around 50 enjoying seeking out each statute in turn like a mass treasure hunt of capital city proportions. Not bad, although I wish I had had the time and energy to see them all. Here are a host of photos showing the mascots I befriended, and which, any day now, will disappear off to the homes of the anonymous bidders who have been buying them up for 4 figure sums on the London 2012 memorabilia website. The prices were a bit steep for me, otherwise I would have been tempted to have moved one of these figures into my flat