Why is it that some things just seem wrong, when science tells us they’re actually quite right.
Take this picture, taken recently at the Gloucester Waterways Museum at Gloucester docks.
Are you, like I was, struck by the concrete boat in the middle?
Does it seem quite wrong to make a boat out of concrete? The wooden boat on the left feels comfortable…normal, the steel boat similarly so, but concrete…?
It’s simple density of course, but still, the concrete seems wrong……
…….odd when you consider concrete has an average density of 2,500kg per cubic meter and steel has a density of around 8,000kg per cubic meter, so actually concrete has a greater propensity to float than steel…..and yet would you be comfortable boarding a cross channel ferry made of concrete…?
It’s not only science that can baffle and fool in this way. Here’s a picture of Moreton Corbet Castle in rural Shropshire. Note how the windows are odd sizes (left to right and top to bottom), off centre, with mullions, corbels, stonework and other details all out of alignment….
It is quite the most disturbing piece of architecture I’ve ever experienced, making one feel quite uncomfortable, and yet it’s hard to leave it, the mind is somehow drawn to the total imbalance..and the more one looks, the more one finds to be “wrong” and the more harrowing the experience becomes.
Take a visit and try it, for want of a better word, it’s very weird
It is a trick well worth exploring in art and sculpture, the ability to use both science and nature to create the intriguing effect of discomfort, because in both examples, the effect is lure the viewers attention and hold them in a studied trance.